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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-33
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
06 Mar 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
The SPARC water vapour assessment II: Comparison of stratospheric and lower mesospheric water vapour time series observed from satellites
Farahnaz Khosrawi1, Stefan Lossow1, Gabriele P. Stiller1, Karen H. Rosenlof2, Joachim Urban3,†, John P. Burrows4, Robert P. Damadeo5, Patrick Eriksson3, Maya García-Comas6, John C. Gille7,8, Yasuko Kasai9, Michael Kiefer1, Gerald E. Nedoluha10, Stefan Noël4, Piera Raspollini11, William G. Read12, Alexei Rozanov4, Christopher E. Sioris13, Kaley A. Walker14, and Katja Weigel4 1Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
2NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Global Monitoring Division, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
3Chalmers University of Technology, Department of Space, Earth and Environment, Hörsalsvägen 11, 41296 Göteborg, Sweden
4University of Bremen, Institute of Environmental Physics, Otto-Hahn-Allee 1, 28334 Bremen, Germany
5NASA Langley Research Center, Mail Stop 401B, Hampton, VA 23681, USA
6Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), Glorieta de la Astronomía, 18008 Granada, Spain
7National Center for Atmospheric Research, Atmospheric Chemistry Obserations and Modeling Laboratory, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000, USA
8University of Colorado, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Boulder, CO 80309-0311, USA
9National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Terahertz Technology Research Center, 4-2-1 Nukui-kita, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8795, Japan
10Naval Research Laboratory, Remote Sensing Devision, 4555 Overlook Avenue Southwest, Washington, DC 20375, USA
11Istituto di Fisica Applicata del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (IFAC-CNR), Via Madonna del Piano, 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
12Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, USA
13Environment and Climate Change Canada, Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate, 4905 Dufferin St., Toronto, ON, M3H 5T4, Canada
14University of Toronto, Department of Physics, 60 St. George Street, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A7, Canada
deceased, 14 August 2014
Abstract. Time series of stratospheric and lower mesospheric water vapour using 33 data sets from 15 different satellite instruments were compared in the framework of the second SPARC (Stratosphere-troposphere Processes And their Role in Climate) water vapour assessment (WAVAS-II). This comparison aimed to provide a comprehensive overview of the typical uncertainties in the observational database that can be considered in the future in observational and modelling studies addressing e.g stratospheric water vapour trends. The time series comparisons are presented for the three latitude bands, the Antarctic (80°–70° S), the tropics (15° S–15° N) and the northern hemisphere mid-latitudes (50° N–60° N) at four different altitudes (0.1, 3, 10 and 80 hPa) covering the stratosphere and lower mesosphere. The combined temporal coverage of observations from the 15 satellite instruments allowed considering the time period 1986–2014. In addition to the qualitative comparison of the time series, the agreement of the data sets is assessed quantitatively in the form of the spread (i.e. the difference between the maximum and minimum volume mixing ratio among the data sets), the (Pearson) correlation coefficient and the drift (i.e. linear changes of the difference between time series over time). Generally, good agreement between the time series was found in the middle stratosphere while larger differences were found in the lower mesosphere and near the tropopause. Concerning the latitude bands, the largest differences were found in the Antarctic while the best agreement was found for the tropics. From our assessment we find that all data sets can be considered in the future in observational and modelling studies addressing e.g. stratospheric and lower mesospheric water vapour variability and trends when data set specific characteristics (e.g. a drift) and restrictions (e.g. temporal and spatial coverage) are taken into account.
Citation: Khosrawi, F., Lossow, S., Stiller, G. P., Rosenlof, K. H., Urban, J., Burrows, J. P., Damadeo, R. P., Eriksson, P., García-Comas, M., Gille, J. C., Kasai, Y., Kiefer, M., Nedoluha, G. E., Noël, S., Raspollini, P., Read, W. G., Rozanov, A., Sioris, C. E., Walker, K. A., and Weigel, K.: The SPARC water vapour assessment II: Comparison of stratospheric and lower mesospheric water vapour time series observed from satellites, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-33, in review, 2018.
Farahnaz Khosrawi et al.
Farahnaz Khosrawi et al.
Farahnaz Khosrawi et al.

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Short summary
Time series of stratospheric and lower mesospheric water vapour using 33 data sets were compared in the framework of the second SPARC water vapour assessment. We find that all data sets can be considered in observational and modelling studies addressing e.g. stratospheric and lower mesospheric water vapour variability and trends when data set specific characteristics (e.g. a drift) and restrictions (e.g. temporal and spatial coverage) are taken into account.
Time series of stratospheric and lower mesospheric water vapour using 33 data sets were...
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