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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 23 Mar 2020

Submitted as: research article | 23 Mar 2020

Review status
This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

CLIMCAPS Observing Capability for Temperature, Moisture and Trace Gases from AIRS/AMSU and CrIS/ATMS

Nadia Smith and Christopher D. Barnet Nadia Smith and Christopher D. Barnet
  • Science and Technology Corporation, Columbia, Maryland, 212046, USA

Abstract. The Community Long-term Infrared Microwave Combined Atmospheric Product System (CLIMCAPS) retrieves vertical profiles of temperature, water vapor, greenhouse- and pollutant gases as well as cloud properties from measurements made by infrared and microwave instruments on polar-orbiting satellites. These are AIRS/AMSU on Aqua and CrIS/ATMS on Suomi-NPP as well as NOAA20. CLIMCAPS retrieves these atmospheric soundings from each satellite platform individually that together form a multi-platform, multi-instrument record of satellite soundings spanning nearly two decades of daily observations (2002 to present). Such a record is useful for characterizing diurnal and seasonal atmospheric processes from different time periods and regions across the globe. The strength of the observed signal at each scene is affected by a range of uncertainty sources broadly stemming from two classes, namely (i) the observing system (e.g., instrument type and noise, choice of inversion method, algorithmic implementation and assumptions) and (ii) localized conditions (e.g., presence of clouds, rate of temperature change with pressure, amount of water vapor and surface type). If uncertainty is not explicitly quantified and reported, then retrieval products lose value in science and applications because their measured signals are obscured and, worse, misinterpreted. In this paper we characterize the CLIMCAPS Version 2.0 system and diagnose its observing capability for seven retrieval variables – temperature, H2O, CO, O3, CO2, HNO3 and CH4 – from two satellite platforms, Aqua and NOAA20. We illustrate how CLIMCAPS observing capability varies spatially, from scene to scene and latitudinally across the globe. We conclude with a discussion of how CLIMCAPS uncertainty metrics can be used in diagnosing its retrievals to promote understanding of the observing system as well as the atmosphere it measures.

Nadia Smith and Christopher D. Barnet

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Status: open (until 18 May 2020)
Status: open (until 18 May 2020)
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Nadia Smith and Christopher D. Barnet

Nadia Smith and Christopher D. Barnet


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