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Title: Establishment of AIRS climate-level radiometric stability using radiance anomaly retrievals of minor gases and sea surface temperature
Abstract. Temperature, H2O, and O3 profiles, as well as CO2, N2O, CH4, chlorofluorocarbon-12 (CFC-12), and sea surface temperature (SST) scalar anomalies are computed using a clear subset of AIRS observations over ocean for the first 16 years of NASA's Earth-Observing Satellite (EOS) Aqua Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) operation. The AIRS Level-1c radiances are averaged over 16 d and 40 equal-area zonal bins and then converted to brightness temperature anomalies. Geophysical anomalies are retrieved from the brightness temperature anomalies using a relatively standard optimal estimation approach. The CO2, N2O, CH4, and CFC-12 anomalies are derived by applying a vertically uniform multiplicative shift to each gas in order to obtain an estimate for the gas mixing ratio. The minor-gas anomalies are compared to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) in situ values and used to estimate the radiometric stability of the AIRS radiances. Similarly, the retrieved SST anomalies are compared to the SST values used in the ERA-Interim reanalysis and to NOAA's Optimum Interpolation SST (OISST) product. These intercomparisons strongly suggest that many AIRS channels are stable to better than 0.02 to 0.03 K per decade, well below climate trend levels, indicating that the AIRS blackbody is not drifting. However, detailed examination of the anomaly retrieval residuals (observed – computed) shows various small unphysical shifts that correspond to AIRS hardware events (shutdowns, etc.). Some examples are given highlighting how the AIRS radiance stability could be improved, especially for channels sensitive to N2O and CH4. The AIRS shortwave channels exhibit larger drifts that make them unsuitable for climate trending, and they are avoided in this work. The AIRS Level 2 surface temperature retrievals only use shortwave channels. We summarize how these shortwave drifts impacts recently published comparisons of AIRS surface temperature trends to other surface climatologies.  more » « less
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Journal Name:
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
Page Range / eLocation ID:
4619 to 4644
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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