M. Toohey, et al.
Characterizing sampling biases in the trace gas climatologies of the SPARC Data Initiative
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (2013JD020298), 118(20), 11,847-11,862, 2013; doi: 10.1002/jgrd.50874
O3 18OO2 O18OO O17OO H2O HDO H217O H218O Middle atmosphere Remote sensing Uncertainty quantification Climatology stratosphere satellite measurements


[1] Monthly zonal mean climatologies of atmospheric measurements from satellite instruments can have biases due to the nonuniform sampling of the atmosphere by the instruments. We characterize potential sampling biases in stratospheric trace gas climatologies of the Stratospheric Processes and Their Role in Climate (SPARC) Data Initiative using chemical fields from a chemistry climate model simulation and sampling patterns from 16 satellite-borne instruments. The exercise is performed for the long-lived stratospheric trace gases O3 and H2O. Monthly sampling biases for O3 exceed 10% for many instruments in the high-latitude stratosphere and in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere, while annual mean sampling biases reach values of up to 20% in the same regions for some instruments. Sampling biases for H2O are generally smaller than for O3, although still notable in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere and Southern Hemisphere high latitudes. The most important mechanism leading to monthly sampling bias is nonuniform temporal sampling, i.e., the fact that for many instruments, monthly means are produced from measurements which span less than the full month in question. Similarly, annual mean sampling biases are well explained by nonuniformity in the month-to-month sampling by different instruments. Nonuniform sampling in latitude and longitude are shown to also lead to nonnegligible sampling biases, which are most relevant for climatologies which are otherwise free of biases due to nonuniform temporal sampling.


  author = "M. Toohey and M. I. Hegglin and S. Tegtmeier and J. Anderson and J. A. Añel and A. Bourassa and S. Brohede and D. Degenstein and L. Froidevaux and R. Fuller and B. Funke and J. Gille and A. Jones and Y. Kasai and K. Krüger and E. Kyrölä and J. L. Neu and A. Rozanov and L. Smith and J. Urban and T. von Clarmann and K. A. Walker and R. H. J. Wang",
  title = "Characterizing sampling biases in the trace gas climatologies of the SPARC Data Initiative",
  year = 2013,
  journal = "Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres",
  volume = 118,
  number = 20,
  pages = "11,847-11,862",
  month = "Oct",
  keywords = "O3, 18OO2, O18OO, O17OO, H2O, HDO, H217O, H218O, Middle atmosphere, Remote sensing, Uncertainty quantification, Climatology, stratosphere, satellite measurements",
  doi = "10.1002/jgrd.50874",
  url = "",
  note = "2013JD020298"
Site Navigation Publication index Dataplots