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  • The Global Spatiotemporal Distribution of the Mid-Tropospheric CO2 Concentration and Analysis of the Controlling Factors
    The atmospheric infrared sounder (AIRS) provides a robust and accurate data source to investigate the variability of mid-tropospheric CO2 globally. In this paper, we use the AIRS CO2 product and other auxiliary data to survey the spatiotemporal distribution characteristics of mid-tropospheric CO2 and the controlling factors using linear regression, empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs), geostatistical analysis, and correlation analysis. The results show that areas with low mid-tropospheric CO2 concentrations (20°S–5°N) (384.2 ppm) are formed as a result of subsidence in the atmosphere, the presence of the Amazon rainforest, and the lack of high CO2 emission areas. The areas with high mid-tropospheric CO2 concentrations (30°N–70°N) (382.1 ppm) are formed due to high CO2 emissions. The global mid-tropospheric CO2 concentrations increased gradually (the annual average rate of increase in CO2 concentration is 2.11 ppm/a), with the highest concentration occurring in spring (384.0 ppm) and the lowest value in winter (382.5 ppm). The amplitude of the seasonal variation retrieved from AIRS (average: 1.38 ppm) is consistent with that of comprehensive observation network for trace gases (CONTRAIL), but smaller than the surface ground stations, which is related to altitude and coverage. These results contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the spatiotemporal distribution of mid-tropospheric CO2 and related mechanisms. more
  • High tropospheric ozone in Lhasa within the Asian summer monsoon anticyclone in 2013: influence of convective transport and stratospheric intrusions
    Balloon-borne measurements of ozone in Lhasa (29.66∘ N, 91.14∘ E; 3650 m above sea level) in August 2013 are investigated using backward trajectory calculations performed with the Chemical Lagrangian Model of the Stratosphere (CLaMS). Measurements show three time periods characterized by high ozone mixing ratios (OMRs) in the troposphere on 8, 11, and 18–20 August 2013 during the Asian summer monsoon (ASM) season. Here, we verified two different sources for the enhanced ozone values in the troposphere. First, transport of polluted air from the boundary layer, and second downward transport from the stratosphere by stratospheric intrusions. Air pollution from South Asia through convective and long-range transport plays a key role in enhancing middle tropospheric OMRs up to 90 % on 8 August and up to 125 % on 11 August 2013 compared to monthly mean ozone of August 2013. Stratospheric air intruded from the northern high-latitudes to the southeastern flank of the ASM anticyclone to the troposphere and is identified as the source of enhanced ozone according to backward trajectory calculation and satellite measurements by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS). Air parcels with high ozone moved from the high-latitude lower stratosphere to the middle and upper troposphere. These air parcels are then transported to Lhasa over long distances and enhanced upper and middle tropospheric ozone over Lhasa during 18–20 August 2013. Our findings demonstrate that the strong variability of ozone within the ASM anticyclone in the free troposphere is caused by transport from very different regions of the atmosphere. more
  • Coupling between Land⁻Ocean⁻Atmosphere and Pronounced Changes in Atmospheric/Meteorological Parameters Associated with the Hudhud Cyclone of October 2014
    India is vulnerable to all kinds of natural hazards associated with land, ocean, biosphere, atmosphere, and snow/glaciers. These natural hazards impact large areas and the population living in the affected regions. India is surrounded by ocean on three sides and is vulnerable to cyclonic activities. Every year cyclones hit the east and west coasts of India, affecting the population living along the coasts and infrastructure and inland areas. The extent of the affected inland areas depends on the intensity of the cyclone. On 12 October 2014, a strong cyclone "Hudhud" hit the east coast of India that caused a high degree of devastation along the coast. The impact of this cyclone was seen up to the Himalayan region. Detailed analysis of satellite and ground data show a strong coupling between land-ocean-atmosphere associated with the Hudhud cyclone. The contrast between land and ocean temperature was found to be closely related with the formation of the cyclone in the ocean and its movements towards land. Pronounced changes in the ocean, land, atmospheric, and meteorological parameters with the development of the cyclone and its landfall have been observed. Changes in total column ozone (TCO), relative humidity (RH), and volume mixing ratio of CO (CO VMR), water mixing ratio (H₂O MMR), surface latent heat flux (SLHF), and aerosol optical properties derived from satellite data show characteristic behavior of the Hudhud cyclone. more
  • Using AIRS and ARM SGP Clear-Sky Observations to Evaluate Meteorological Reanalyses: A Hyperspectral Radiance Closure Approach
    Using the ground-based measurements from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) site and spectral radiance from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on National Aeronautics and Space Administration Aqua, we evaluate the temperature and humidity profiles from European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting ERA-Interim and Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications Version 2 reanalyses. Four sets of synthetic AIRS spectra are calculated using 51 clear-sky sounding profiles from the ARM SGP observations, the collocated AIRS L2 retrievals and the two reanalyses, respectively. A subset of AIRS channels sensitive to temperature, CO2, or H2O but not to other trace gases is chosen and further categorized into different groups according to the peak altitudes of their weighting functions. Synthetic radiances are then compared to the observed AIRS radiances for each group. For all groups, the observed AIRS radiances agree well with the synthetic ones based on the ARM SGP soundings or the AIRS L2 retrievals. The brightness temperature (BT) differences are within +/- 0.5 K. For two reanalyses, BT differences in all temperature-sensitive groups are generally within +/- 0.5 K; but the mean BT differences in all groups sensitive to both T and H2O are negative. Together, they suggest a wet bias in the free troposphere in both reanalyses. Moreover, such BT differences can be seen in the analysis of AIRS clear-sky radiances over the entire 30-40 degrees N zone. A grid-search retrieval suggests that 9-30% reduction for reanalysis humidity between 200 and 800 hPa is needed to correct such wet bias. more