A. A. Penckwitt, et al.
Validation of merged MSU4 and AMSU9 temperature climate records with a~new 2002-2012 vertically resolved temperature record
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions, 8, 235-267, 2015; doi: 10.5194/amtd-8-235-2015


A new database of monthly mean zonal mean (5° zones) temperature time series spanning 17 pressure levels from 300 to 7 hPa and extending from 2002 to 2012 was created by merging monthly mean time series from two satellite-based mid-infrared spectrometers (ACE-FTS and MIPAS), a microwave sounder (SMR), and from three satellite-based radio occultation experiments (GRACE, CHAMP, and TSX). The primary intended use of this new temperature data set is to validate the merging of the Microwave Sounding Unit channel 4 (MSU4), and Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit channel 9 (AMSU9) temperature time series conducted in previous studies. The six source data sets were merged by removing offsets and trends between the different measurement series. Weighted means were calculated of the six source data sets where the weights were a function of the uncertainty on the original monthly mean data. This new temperature data set of the upper troposphere and stratosphere has been validated by comparing it to RATPAC-A, COSMIC radio occultation data as well as the NCEPCFSR reanalyses. Differences in all three cases were typically < 2 K in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, but could reach up to 5 K in the mid-stratosphere. The data across the 17 pressure levels have then been vertically integrated, using the MSU4/AMSU9 weighting function, to provide a deep vertical layer temperature proxy of the merged MSU4+AMSU9 series. Differences between this vertically integrated data set and two different versions of the MSU4+AMSU9 data set – one from Remote Sensing Systems and one from the University of Alabama at Huntsville – were examined for discontinuities. No statistically significant discontinuities were found in either of those two data sets suggesting that the transition from the MSU4+AMSU9 data to AMSU9 data only does not introduce any discontinuities in the MSU4+AMSU9 climate data records that might compromise their use in temperature trend analyses.


  author = "A. A. Penckwitt and G. E. Bodeker and P. Stoll and J. Lewis and T. von Clarmann and A. Jones",
  title = "Validation of merged MSU4 and AMSU9 temperature climate records with a~new 2002-2012 vertically resolved temperature record",
  year = 2015,
  journal = "Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions",
  volume = 8,
  pages = "235-267",
  month = "Jan",
  doi = "10.5194/amtd-8-235-2015",
  url = ""
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