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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-253
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-253
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 30 Jul 2019

Submitted as: research article | 30 Jul 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Improved Water Vapour retrieval from AMSU-B/MHS in polar regions

Arantxa M. Triana-Gómez, Georg Heygster, Christian Melsheimer, and Gunnar Spreen Arantxa M. Triana-Gómez et al.
  • Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany

Abstract. Exact monitoring of water vapour in the Arctic on long time scales is essential for predicting Arctic weather and understanding climate trends, as well as addressing its influence in the positive feedback loop contributing to Arctic Amplification. However, this is challenged by the sparseness of in-situ measurements and the problems that standard remote-sensing retrieval methods for water vapour have in Arctic conditions. Here, we present advances in a retrieval algorithm for vertically integrated water vapour (total water vapour, TWV) in polar regions from data of satellite-based microwave humidity sounders: (1) In addition to AMSU-B, we can now also use data from the successor instrument MHS; (2) artifacts caused by high cloud ice content in convective clouds are filtered out. Comparison to in-situ measurements using radiosondes during the N-ICE2015 campaign show overall good performance of the updated algorithm. Combining TWV data from the present algorithm with those retrieved from microwave imagers like AMSR-E and AMSR2 makes a continuous record of TWV since the year 2000 possible, with nearly complete and year-round coverage of the Arctic.

Arantxa M. Triana-Gómez et al.
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Short summary
In the Arctic, in-situ measurements are sparse and standard remote sensing retrieval methods have problems. We present advances in a retrieval algorithm for vertically integrated water vapour tuned for polar regions. In addition to the initial sensor used (AMSU-B), we can now also use data from the successor instrument (MHS). Additionally, certain artifacts are now filtered out. Comparison with radiosondes shows overall good performance of the updated algorithm.
In the Arctic, in-situ measurements are sparse and standard remote sensing retrieval methods...
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