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Title: High lapse rates in AIRS retrieved temperatures in cold air outbreaks
Authors: Fetzer, Eric J.
Kahn, Brian
Olsen, Edward T.
Fishbein, Evan
Keywords: meteorology
cold air outbreak
remote sounding
Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS)
atmosphere-oean temperature
Issue Date: 9-Aug-2004
Publisher: Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2004.
Citation: 13th Conference on Interactions of the Sea and Atmosphere, Portland, Maine, August 9-13, 1004.
Abstract: The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) experiment, on NASA’s Aqua spacecraft, uses a combination of infrared and microwave observations to retrieve cloud and surface properties, plus temperature and water vapor profiles comparable to radiosondes throughout the troposphere, for cloud cover up to 70%. The high spectral resolution of AIRS provides sensitivity to important information about the near-surface atmosphere and underlying surface. A preliminary analysis of AIRS temperature retrievals taken during January 2003 reveals extensive areas of superadiabatic lapse rates in the lowest kilometer of the atmosphere. These areas are found predominantly east of North America over the Gulf Stream, and, off East Asia over the Kuroshio Current. Accompanying the high lapse rates are low air temperatures, large sea-air temperature differences, and low relative humidities. Imagery from a Visible / Near Infrared instrument on the AIRS experiment shows accompanying clouds. These lines of evidence all point to shallow convection in the bottom layer of a cold air mass overlying warm water, with overturning driven by heat flow from ocean to atmosphere. An examination of operational radiosondes at six coastal stations in Japan shows AIRS to be oversensitive to lower tropospheric lapse rates due to systematically warm near-surface air temperatures. The bias in near-surface air temperature is seen to be independent of sea surface temperature, however. AIRS is therefore sensitive to air-sea temperature difference, but with a warm atmospheric bias.
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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