Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Precise remote sounding for better climate models

Date:
September 30, 2013
Source:
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Summary:
The water budget of the troposphere, the bottom layer of the Earth’s atmosphere, determines the weather and plays a central role in climate change. The isotope composition of water vapor, i.e. the ratio of light and heavy water molecules, provides insight into underlying mechanisms. Climate researchers have gathered the data required by in-situ measurements as well as by using remote sounding instruments, e.g. on board of satellites. In a recent campaign, they combined both methods and proved the precision of remote sounding measurements for the first time.

The ISOWAT spectrometer developed by IMK was operated on board of the CASA C-212 of the Spanish National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA).
Credit: Christoph Dyroff, IMK

The water budget of the troposphere, the bottom layer of Earth's atmosphere, determines the weather and plays a central role in climate change. The isotope composition of water vapor, i.e. the ratio of light and heavy water molecules, provides insight into underlying mechanisms. Climate researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) gather the data required by in-situ measurements as well as by using remote sounding instruments, e.g. on board of satellites. In a recent campaign, they combined both methods and proved the precision of remote sounding measurements for the first time.

Related Articles


"Water evaporation and condensation processes as well as the strong greenhouse effect of water vapor and clouds decisively influence the energy balance of the atmosphere and the entire planet," says Matthias Schneider from the KIT Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK). "The complex water cycle has to be known better to understand our climate and to reliably estimate its development." Global analysis requires reliable remote sounding measurements. The data measured will then help improve the reliability of climate models.

During a campaign above the sea near the Canary Island of Tenerife, the scientists conducted six measurement flights to determine the isotope composition of water vapor up to 7 km height. For this purpose, they used the ISOWAT diode laser spectrometer specially developed by IMK for use on aircraft. This spectrometer ensures a high accuracy and temporal resolution under dry as well as under humid conditions. In parallel, measurements were carried out at 2370 and 3550 m height on Tenerife in cooperation with the Spanish weather service (AEMET). Two commercial in-situ instruments and an infrared instrument of the worldwide measurement network NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change) were applied for this purpose. In addition, the data of the infrared instrument IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer) operated on board of the METOP European weather satellite were used. The flights of the research aircraft were coordinated with the ground-based and satellite measurements.

"For this campaign, the IMK measurement methods for ground- and satellite-based remote sounding were combined with IMK's aircraft-based in-situ measurement methods," Matthias Schneider says. "We found good agreement between the datasets. This means that the precision of the remote sounding instruments, that is the quality of the data supplied by them, was confirmed." For the first time, the researchers have proved that both the worldwide measurement network NDACC with its ground stations and modern weather satellites provide reliable global data for the isotope composition of tropospheric water vapor.

Better understanding of the mechanisms associated with the atmospheric water budget based on isotope composition is the objective of the MUSICA project coordinated by Schneider at IMK. MUSICA stands for "MUlti-platform remote Sensing of Isotopologues for investigating the Cycle of Atmospheric water." MUSICA is funded with EUR 1.5 million by the European Research Council (ERC). The project has a duration of five years.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. "Precise remote sounding for better climate models." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930093716.htm>.
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. (2013, September 30). Precise remote sounding for better climate models. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930093716.htm
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. "Precise remote sounding for better climate models." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130930093716.htm (accessed February 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Winter Storm Means Dangerous Driving in South

Winter Storm Means Dangerous Driving in South

AP (Feb. 26, 2015) A new winter storm is stretching across the south, making travel treacherous throughout the region. (Feb. 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New York City Surrounded by Ice Floes

New York City Surrounded by Ice Floes

AP (Feb. 25, 2015) The freezing temperatures that have plagued much of the eastern U.S. haven&apos;t spared New York City. The waterways around the island of Manhattan are filled with ice. (Feb. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Widespread Flooding in Northern Bolivia

Raw: Widespread Flooding in Northern Bolivia

AP (Feb. 25, 2015) Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia surveyed severe flood damage in the northern province of Pando, as people were evacuated from partially submerged houses by boat. (Feb. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Amazon Keeps Its Green Thanks To The Sahara Desert

The Amazon Keeps Its Green Thanks To The Sahara Desert

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) Satellite data shows the Amazon rainforest supports its lush flora with a little help from Sahara Desert dust. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins