Articles | Volume 9, issue 9
Research article
08 Sep 2016
Research article |  | 08 Sep 2016

Recent divergences in stratospheric water vapor measurements by frost point hygrometers and the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder

Dale F. Hurst, William G. Read, Holger Vömel, Henry B. Selkirk, Karen H. Rosenlof, Sean M. Davis, Emrys G. Hall, Allen F. Jordan, and Samuel J. Oltmans

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Cited articles

Davis, S. M., Rosenlof, K. H., Hassler, B., Hurst, D. F., Read, W. G., Vömel, H., Selkirk, H., Fujiwara, M., and Damadeo, R.: The Stratospheric Water and Ozone Satellite Homogenized (SWOOSH) database: A long-term database for climate studies, Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss.,, in review, 2016.
Forster, P. M. de F. and Shine, K. P.: Assessing the climate impact of trends in stratospheric water vapor, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29, 1086,, 2002.
Froidevaux, L., Anderson, J., Wang, H.-J., Fuller, R. A., Schwartz, M. J., Santee, M. L., Livesey, N. J., Pumphrey, H. C., Bernath, P. F., Russell III, J. M., and McCormick, M. P.: Global OZone Chemistry And Related trace gas Data records for the Stratosphere (GOZCARDS): methodology and sample results with a focus on HCl, H2O, and O3, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 10471–10507,, 2015.
Hall, E. G., Jordan, A. F., Hurst, D. F., Oltmans, S. J., Vömel, H., Kühnreich, B., and Ebert, V.: Advancements, measurement uncertainties, and recent comparisons of the NOAA frost point hygrometer, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 4295–4310,, 2016.
Short summary
This study compares stratospheric water vapor measurements by the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) and balloon-borne frost point hygrometers (FPs) at five sites that launch two different types of FPs. The results demonstrate that FP and MLS measurements have been diverging at statistically significant rates of 0.6 to 1.5 % per year since approximately 2010. Similarities in the divergences at different sites suggest a positive drift in MLS retrievals since approximately 2010.