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  07 Jan 2021

07 Jan 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

A systematic assessment of water vapor products in the Arctic: from instantaneous measurements to monthly means

Susanne Crewell1, Kerstin Ebell1, Patrick Konjari1, Mario Mech1, Tatiana Nomokonova1, Ana Radovan1, David Strack1, Arantxa M. Triana-Gómez2, Stefan Noël2, Raul Scarlat2, Gunnar Spreen2, Marion Maturilli3, Annette Rinke3, Irina Gorodetskaya4, Carolina Viceto4, Thomas August5, and Marc Schröder6 Susanne Crewell et al.
  • 1Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • 2Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Germany
  • 3Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany
  • 4Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences, University of Aveiro, Portugal
  • 5Eumetsat, Darmstadt, Germany
  • 6Deutscher Wetterdienst, Offenbach, Germany

Abstract. Water vapor is an important component in the water and energy cycle of the Arctic. Especially in the light of Arctic amplification, changes of water vapor are of high interest but are difficult to observe due to the data sparsity of the region. The ACLOUD/PASCAL campaign performed in May/June 2017 in the Arctic North Atlantic sector offers the opportunity to investigate the quality of various satellite and reanalysis products. Compared to reference measurements at R/V Polarstern frozen into the ice (around 82° N, 10° E) and at Ny-Ålesund, the Integrated Water Vapor (IWV) from IASI shows the best performance among all satellite products. Using all radiosonde stations within the region indicates some differences that might relate to different radiosonde types used. Though the region is well sampled by polar orbiting satellites daily means can deviate by up to 50 % due to strong spatio-temporal IWV variability associated with atmospheric river events. For monthly mean values, this weather induced variability cancels out but systematic differences dominate which particularly appear over different surface types, e.g. ocean, sea ice. In the data sparse central Arctic above 84° N, strong differences of 30 % in IWV monthly means between satellite products occur in the month of June which likely results from the difficulties to consider the complex and changing surface characteristics of the melting ice within the retrieval algorithms. There is hope that the detailed surface characterization performed as part of the recently finished Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) will foster the improvement of future retrieval algorithms.

Susanne Crewell et al.

Status: open (until 04 Mar 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2020-491', Anonymous Referee #1, 18 Jan 2021 reply

Susanne Crewell et al.

Susanne Crewell et al.


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