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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-197
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
13 Jul 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Single-footprint retrievals of temperature, water vapor and cloud properties from AIRS
Fredrick W. Irion1, Brian H. Kahn1, Mathias M. Schreier1, Eric J. Fetzer1, Evan Fishbein1, Dejian Fu1, Peter Kalmus1, R. Chris Wilson2, Sun Wong1, and Qing Yue1 1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91106, USA
2Joint Institute for Regional Earth System Science and Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
Abstract. Single-footprint Atmospheric Infrared Sounder spectra are used in an optimal estimation-based algorithm (AIRS-OE) for simultaneous retrieval of atmospheric temperature, water vapor, surface temperature, cloud-top temperature, effective cloud optical depth and effective cloud particle radius. In a departure from currently operational AIRS retrievals (AIRS-V6), cloud scattering and absorption are in the radiative transfer forward model, and Level 1b AIRS thermal infrared data are used directly rather than Level 2 cloud-cleared spectra. Coincident MODIS Level 2 cloud data are used for cloud a priori. Using Level 1b spectra improves the horizontal resolution of the AIRS retrieval from ~ 45 km to ~ 13.5 km at nadir, but as microwave data are not used, retrieval is not made at altitudes below thick clouds. An outline of the AIRS-OE retrieval procedure and information content analysis is presented. Initial comparison of AIRS-OE to AIRS-V6 results show increased horizontal detail in the water vapor and relative humidity fields in the free troposphere above clouds. Comparisions of temperature, water vapor and relative humidity profiles against coincident radiosondes show good agreement. Future improvements to the retrieval algorithm, and to the forward model in particular, are discussed.

Citation: Irion, F. W., Kahn, B. H., Schreier, M. M., Fetzer, E. J., Fishbein, E., Fu, D., Kalmus, P., Wilson, R. C., Wong, S., and Yue, Q.: Single-footprint retrievals of temperature, water vapor and cloud properties from AIRS, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-197, in review, 2017.
Fredrick W. Irion et al.
Fredrick W. Irion et al.
Fredrick W. Irion et al.

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Short summary
We describe a new algorithm for the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) that uses its thermal infrared spectra directly rather than using “cloud-clearing.” By additionally modelling clouds within an AIRS field-of-view, we retrieve temperature and water vapor profiles on the AIRS ~ 13.5 km horizontal footprint (at nadir) rather than the ~ 45 km footprint of cloud-cleared spectra. Initial validation is presented, and avenues for future development are discussed.
We describe a new algorithm for the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) that uses its thermal...
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