Localization is essential to effectively assimilate satellite radiances in ensemble Kalman filters. However, the vertical location and separation from a model grid point variable for a radiance observation are not well defined, which results in complexities when localizing the impact of radiance observations. An adaptive method is proposed to estimate an effective vertical localization independently for each assimilated channel of every satellite platform. It uses sample correlations between ensemble priors of observations and state variables from a cycling data assimilation to estimate the localization function that minimizes the sampling error. The estimated localization functions are approximated by three localization parameters: the localization width, maximum value, and vertical location of the radiance observations. Adaptively estimated localization parameters are used in assimilation experiments with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global Forecast System (GFS) model and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operational ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF). Results show that using the adaptive localization width and vertical location for radiance observations is more beneficial than also including the maximum localization value. The experiment using the adaptively estimated localization width and vertical location performs better than the default Gaspari and Cohn (GC) experiment, and produces similar errors to the optimal GC experiment. The adaptive localization parameters can be computed during the assimilation procedure, so the computational cost needed to tune the optimal GC localization width is saved.
For data assimilation to provide faithful state estimates for dynamical models, specifications of observation uncertainty need to be as accurate as possible. Innovation-based methods based on Desroziers diagnostics, are commonly used to estimate observation uncertainty, but such methods can depend greatly on the prescribed background uncertainty. For ensemble data assimilation, this uncertainty comes from statistics calculated from ensemble forecasts, which require inflation and localization to address under sampling. In this work, we use an ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) with a low-dimensional Lorenz model to investigate the interplay between the Desroziers method and inflation. Two inflation techniques are used for this purpose: 1) a rigorously tuned fixed multiplicative scheme and 2) an adaptive state-space scheme. We document how inaccuracies in observation uncertainty affect errors in EnKF posteriors and study the combined impacts of misspecified initial observation uncertainty, sampling error, and model error on Desroziers estimates. We find that whether observation uncertainty is over- or underestimated greatly affects the stability of data assimilation and the accuracy of Desroziers estimates and that preference should be given to initial overestimates. Inline estimates of Desroziers tend to remove the dependence between ensemble spread–skill and the initially prescribed observation error. In addition, we find that the inclusion of model error introduces spurious correlations in observation uncertainty estimates. Further, we note that the adaptive inflation scheme is less robust than fixed inflation at mitigating multiple sources of error. Last, sampling error strongly exacerbates existing sources of error and greatly degrades EnKF estimates, which translates into biased Desroziers estimates of observation error covariance.
To generate accurate predictions of various components of the Earth system, numerical models require an accurate specification of state variables at our current time. This step adopts a probabilistic consideration of our current state estimate versus information provided from environmental measurements of the true state. Various strategies exist for estimating uncertainty in observations within this framework, but are sensitive to a host of assumptions, which are investigated in this study.
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- American Meteorological Society
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Monthly Weather Review
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- p. 2295-2306
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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