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Title: Evaluation of atmospheric precipitable water from reanalysis products using homogenized radiosonde observations over China

Abstract

Many multidecadal atmospheric reanalysis products are available now, but their consistencies and reliability are far from perfect. In this work, atmospheric precipitable water (PW) from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR), NCEP/Department of Energy (DOE), Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA), Japanese 55 year Reanalysis (JRA-55), JRA-25, ERA-Interim, ERA-40, Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR), and 20th Century Reanalysis version 2 is evaluated against homogenized radiosonde observations over China during 1979–2012 (1979–2001 for ERA-40). Results suggest that the PW biases in the reanalyses are within ~20% for most of northern and eastern China, but the reanalyses underestimate the observed PW by 20%–40% over western China and by ~60% over the southwestern Tibetan Plateau. The newer-generation reanalyses (e.g., JRA25, JRA55, CFSR, and ERA-Interim) have smaller root-mean-sq uare error than the older-generation ones (NCEP/NCAR, NCEP/DOE, and ERA-40). Most of the reanalyses reproduce well the observed PW climatology and interannual variations over China. However, few reanalyses capture the observed long-term PW changes, primarily because they show spurious wet biases before about 2002. This deficiency results mainly from the discontinuities contained in reanalysis relative humidity fields in the middle-lower troposphere due to the wet bias in older radiosondemore » records that are assimilated into the reanalyses. An empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis revealed two leading modes that represent the long-term PW changes and El Niño–Southern Oscillation-related interannual variations with robust spatial patterns. The reanalysis products, especially the MERRA and JRA-25, roughly capture these EOF modes, which acco unt for over 50% of the total variance. The results show that even during the post-1979 satellite era, discontinuities in radiosonde data can still induce large spurious long-term changes in reanalysis PW and other related fields. Thus, more efforts are needed to remove spurious changes in input data for future long-term reanalyses.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China). Inst. of Atmospheric Physics and Key Lab. of Regional Climate-Environment Research for East Asia
  2. Guangdong Climate Center, Guangzhou (China)
  3. State Univ. of New York (SUNY), Albany, NY (United States). Dept. of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences; National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
State Univ. of New York (SUNY), Plattsburgh, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); National Science Foundation (NSF); National Basic Research Program of China; China Meteorological Administration (CMA); Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) (China); Beijing Nova Program (China); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
1469109
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0012602; 2012CB956203; GYHY201506002; 2012BAC22B04; CCSF201330; 2008B40; AGS‐1353740; NA15OAR4310086
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 120; Journal Issue: 20; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; atmospheric precipitable water; reanalysis; homogenized radiosonde observations; evaluation; China

Citation Formats

Zhao, Tianbao, Wang, Juanhuai, and Dai, Aiguo. Evaluation of atmospheric precipitable water from reanalysis products using homogenized radiosonde observations over China. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1002/2015JD023906.
Zhao, Tianbao, Wang, Juanhuai, & Dai, Aiguo. Evaluation of atmospheric precipitable water from reanalysis products using homogenized radiosonde observations over China. United States. doi:10.1002/2015JD023906.
Zhao, Tianbao, Wang, Juanhuai, and Dai, Aiguo. Tue . "Evaluation of atmospheric precipitable water from reanalysis products using homogenized radiosonde observations over China". United States. doi:10.1002/2015JD023906. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1469109.
@article{osti_1469109,
title = {Evaluation of atmospheric precipitable water from reanalysis products using homogenized radiosonde observations over China},
author = {Zhao, Tianbao and Wang, Juanhuai and Dai, Aiguo},
abstractNote = {Many multidecadal atmospheric reanalysis products are available now, but their consistencies and reliability are far from perfect. In this work, atmospheric precipitable water (PW) from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR), NCEP/Department of Energy (DOE), Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA), Japanese 55 year Reanalysis (JRA-55), JRA-25, ERA-Interim, ERA-40, Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR), and 20th Century Reanalysis version 2 is evaluated against homogenized radiosonde observations over China during 1979–2012 (1979–2001 for ERA-40). Results suggest that the PW biases in the reanalyses are within ~20% for most of northern and eastern China, but the reanalyses underestimate the observed PW by 20%–40% over western China and by ~60% over the southwestern Tibetan Plateau. The newer-generation reanalyses (e.g., JRA25, JRA55, CFSR, and ERA-Interim) have smaller root-mean-sq uare error than the older-generation ones (NCEP/NCAR, NCEP/DOE, and ERA-40). Most of the reanalyses reproduce well the observed PW climatology and interannual variations over China. However, few reanalyses capture the observed long-term PW changes, primarily because they show spurious wet biases before about 2002. This deficiency results mainly from the discontinuities contained in reanalysis relative humidity fields in the middle-lower troposphere due to the wet bias in older radiosonde records that are assimilated into the reanalyses. An empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis revealed two leading modes that represent the long-term PW changes and El Niño–Southern Oscillation-related interannual variations with robust spatial patterns. The reanalysis products, especially the MERRA and JRA-25, roughly capture these EOF modes, which acco unt for over 50% of the total variance. The results show that even during the post-1979 satellite era, discontinuities in radiosonde data can still induce large spurious long-term changes in reanalysis PW and other related fields. Thus, more efforts are needed to remove spurious changes in input data for future long-term reanalyses.},
doi = {10.1002/2015JD023906},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres},
number = 20,
volume = 120,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {9}
}

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