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The Stratospheric Changes Inferred from 10 Years of AIRS and AMSU-A Radiances
  • Published Date:
    2017
  • Source:
    Journal of Climate, 30(15), 6005-6016.
Filetype[PDF-1.68 MB]


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  • Description:
    Global-mean radiances observed by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit A (AMSU-A) are analyzed from 2003 to 2012. The focus of this study is on channels sensitive to emission and absorption in the stratosphere. Optimal fingerprinting is used to obtain estimates of changes of stratospheric temperature in five vertical layers due to external forcing in the presence of natural variability. Natural variability is estimated using synthetic radiances based on the 500-yrGFDL CM3 and 240-yr HadGEM2-CC control runs. The results show a cooling rate of 0.65 +/- 0.11 (2 sigma) Kdecade(-1) in the upper stratosphere above 6 hPa, approximately 0.46 +/- 0.24 K decade(-1) in two midstratospheric layers between 6 and 30 hPa, and 0.39 +/- 0.32 K decade 21 in the lower stratosphere (30-60 hPa). The cooling rate in the lowest part of the stratosphere (60-100 hPa) is -20.014 +/- 0.22 K decade(-1), which is smallest among all five layers and statistically insignificant. The synergistic use of well-calibrated passive infrared and microwave radiances permits disambiguation of trends of carbon dioxide and stratospheric temperature, increases vertical resolution of detected stratospheric temperature trends, and effectively reduces uncertainties of estimated temperature trends.

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