Day 4

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Paper title Towards a consistent data record of Total Column Water Vapor (TCWV) and Wet Tropospheric Correction (WTC) from 30+ years of multi-satellite Microwave Radiometer (MWR) observations
  1. Ralf Bennartz Earth and Environmental Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA Speaker
  2. Bruno Picard Fluctus SAS
  3. Frank Fell Informus GmbH
Form of presentation Poster
  • A5. Climate
    • A5.02 The role of Earth Observation in climate services
Abstract text The Microwave Radiometer (MWR) represents a series of nadir viewing instruments whose main purpose is to provide the information required to correct ocean altimeter observations for the highly variable effects of atmospheric water vapour (the ‘wet tropospheric correction (WTC)’). MWR instruments have been flown onboard the ERS-1 (1991-2000), ERS-2 (1995-2011), and Envisat (2002-2012) platforms and are recently flown again onboard the Sentinel-3 series of satellites (S3-A 2016 - ongoing, S3-B 2018 - ongoing).

The MWR instrument also allows for an accurate determination of the atmospheric total column water vapour (TCWV), under clear and cloudy sky conditions, during both day and night.

In our presentation, we report on recent activities to derive a consistent high-quality long-term TCWV and WTC dataset from MWR observations. A novel bias correction method is applied to create bias-free cross-instrument brightness temperature time series as well as the corresponding TCWV values using a 1D-VAR approach.

The aim of these activities is to create a TCWV and WTC data record that covers the entire 30+ year period from 1991 to 2021 (except for the four year data gap between Envisat and S3-A).

Aside from its immediate contribution to altimetry, MWR-derived TCWV retrievals have the potential to play an important role in climatology and the validation of other TCWV retrievals.