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Gentemann, C. L., Clayson, C. A., Brown, S., Lee, T., Parfitt, R., Farrar, J. T., et al. (2020). FluxSat: Measuring the Ocean-Atmosphere Turbulent Exchange of Heat and Moisture from Space. Remote Sensing, 12(11), 1796.
Abstract: Recent results using wind and sea surface temperature data from satellites and high-resolution coupled models suggest that mesoscale ocean-atmosphere interactions affect the locations and evolution of storms and seasonal precipitation over continental regions such as the western US and Europe. The processes responsible for this coupling are difficult to verify due to the paucity of accurate air-sea turbulent heat and moisture flux data. These fluxes are currently derived by combining satellite measurements that are not coincident and have differing and relatively low spatial resolutions, introducing sampling errors that are largest in regions with high spatial and temporal variability. Observational errors related to sensor design also contribute to increased uncertainty. Leveraging recent advances in sensor technology, we here describe a satellite mission concept, FluxSat, that aims to simultaneously measure all variables necessary for accurate estimation of ocean-atmosphere turbulent heat and moisture fluxes and capture the effect of oceanic mesoscale forcing. Sensor design is expected to reduce observational errors of the latent and sensible heat fluxes by almost 50%. FluxSat will improve the accuracy of the fluxes at spatial scales critical to understanding the coupled ocean-atmosphere boundary layer system, providing measurements needed to improve weather forecasts and climate model simulations.
Keywords: air-sea interactions; mesoscale; fluxes
Bhardwaj, A., & Misra, V. (2019). Monitoring the Indian Summer Monsoon Evolution at the Granularity of the Indian Meteorological Sub-divisions using Remotely Sensed Rainfall Products. Remote Sensing, 11(9), 1080.
Abstract: We make use of satellite-based rainfall products from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) to objectively define local onset and demise of the Indian Summer Monsoon (ISM) at the spatial resolution of the meteorological subdivisions defined by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). These meteorological sub-divisions are the operational spatial scales for official forecasts issued by the IMD. Therefore, there is a direct practical utility to target these spatial scales for monitoring the evolution of the ISM. We find that the diagnosis of the climatological onset and demise dates and its variations from the TMPA product is quite similar to the rain gauge based analysis of the IMD, despite the differences in the duration of the two datasets. This study shows that the onset date variations of the ISM have a significant impact on the variations of the seasonal length and seasonal rainfall anomalies in many of the meteorological sub-divisions: for example, the early or later onset of the ISM is associated with longer and wetter or shorter and drier ISM seasons, respectively. It is shown that TMPA dataset (and therefore its follow up Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Integrated Multi-satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG)) could be usefully adopted for monitoring the onset of the ISM and therefore extend its use to anticipate the potential anomalies of the seasonal length and seasonal rainfall anomalies of the ISM in many of the Indian meteorological sub-divisions. View Full-Text
Zou, M., Xiong, X., Wu, Z., Li, S., Zhang, Y., & Chen, L. (2019). Increase of Atmospheric Methane Observed from Space-Borne and Ground-Based Measurements. Remote Sensing, 11(8).
Abstract: It has been found that the concentration of atmospheric methane (CH4) has rapidly increased since 2007 after a decade of nearly constant concentration in the atmosphere. As an important greenhouse gas, such an increase could enhance the threat of global warming. To better quantify this increasing trend, a novel statistic method, i.e. the Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition (EEMD) method, was used to analyze the CH4 trends from three different measurements: the mid-upper tropospheric CH4 (MUT) from the space-borne measurements by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), the CH4 in the marine boundary layer (MBL) from NOAA ground-based in-situ measurements, and the column-averaged CH4 in the atmosphere (X-CH4) from the ground-based up-looking Fourier Transform Spectrometers at Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) and the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC). Comparison of the CH4 trends in the mid-upper troposphere, lower troposphere, and the column average from these three data sets shows that, overall, these trends agree well in capturing the abrupt CH4 increase in 2007 (the first peak) and an even faster increase after 2013 (the second peak) over the globe. The increased rates of CH4 in the MUT, as observed by AIRS, are overall smaller than CH4 in MBL and the column-average CH4. During 2009-2011, there was a dip in the increase rate for CH4 in MBL, and the MUT-CH4 increase rate was almost negligible in the mid-high latitude regions. The increase of the column-average CH4 also reached the minimum during 2009-2011 accordingly, suggesting that the trends of CH4 are not only impacted by the surface emission, however that they also may be impacted by other processes like transport and chemical reaction loss associated with [OH]. One advantage of the EEMD analysis is to derive the monthly rate and the results show that the frequency of the variability of CH4 increase rates in the mid-high northern latitude regions is larger than those in the tropics and southern hemisphere.
Keywords: Methane increase trend; Boundary layer; Mid-upper troposphere; Satellite; AIRS
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Wentz, F. J., Ricciardulli, L., Rodriguez, E., Stiles, B. W., Bourassa, M. A., Long, D. G., et al. (2017). Evaluating and Extending the Ocean Wind Climate Data Record. IEEE J Sel Top Appl Earth Obs Remote Sens, 10(5), 2165–2185.
Abstract: Satellite microwave sensors, both active scatterometers and passive radiometers, have been systematically measuring near-surface ocean winds for nearly 40 years, establishing an important legacy in studying and monitoring weather and climate variability. As an aid to such activities, the various wind datasets are being intercalibrated and merged into consistent climate data records (CDRs). The ocean wind CDRs (OW-CDRs) are evaluated by comparisons with ocean buoys and intercomparisons among the different satellite sensors and among the different data providers. Extending the OW-CDR into the future requires exploiting all available datasets, such as OSCAT-2 scheduled to launch in July 2016. Three planned methods of calibrating the OSCAT-2 sigmao measurements include 1) direct Ku-band sigmao intercalibration to QuikSCAT and RapidScat; 2) multisensor wind speed intercalibration; and 3) calibration to stable rainforest targets. Unfortunately, RapidScat failed in August 2016 and cannot be used to directly calibrate OSCAT-2. A particular future continuity concern is the absence of scheduled new or continuation radiometer missions capable of measuring wind speed. Specialized model assimilations provide 30-year long high temporal/spatial resolution wind vector grids that composite the satellite wind information from OW-CDRs of multiple satellites viewing the Earth at different local times.
Keywords: Radar cross section; remote sensing; satellite applications; sea surface; wind
Morey, S., Wienders, N., Dukhovskoy, D., & Bourassa, M. (2018). Measurement Characteristics of Near-Surface Currents from Ultra-Thin Drifters, Drogued Drifters, and HF Radar. Remote Sensing, 10(10), 1633.
Abstract: Concurrent measurements by satellite tracked drifters of different hull and drogue configurations and coastal high-frequency radar reveal substantial differences in estimates of the near-surface velocity. These measurements are important for understanding and predicting material transport on the ocean surface as well as the vertical structure of the near-surface currents. These near-surface current observations were obtained during a field experiment in the northern Gulf of Mexico intended to test a new ultra-thin drifter design. During the experiment, thirty small cylindrical drifters with 5 cm height, twenty-eight similar drifters with 10 cm hull height, and fourteen drifters with 91 cm tall drogues centered at 100 cm depth were deployed within the footprint of coastal High-Frequency (HF) radar. Comparison of collocated velocity measurements reveals systematic differences in surface velocity estimates obtained from the different measurement techniques, as well as provides information on properties of the drifter behavior and near-surface shear. Results show that the HF radar velocity estimates had magnitudes significantly lower than the 5 cm and 10 cm drifter velocity of approximately 45% and 35%, respectively. The HF radar velocity magnitudes were similar to the drogued drifter velocity. Analysis of wave directional spectra measurements reveals that surface Stokes drift accounts for much of the velocity difference between the drogued drifters and the thin surface drifters except during times of wave breaking.
Keywords: surface drifters; surface currents; HF Radar