Intercomparison of atmospheric water vapour measurements in the Canadian high Arctic

Weaver, Dan; Strong, Kimberly; Schneider, Matthias; Rowe, Penny M.; Sioris, Chris; Walker, Kaley A.; Mariani, Zen; Uttal, Taneil; McElroy, C. Thomas; Vömel, Holger; Spassiani, Alessio; Drummond, James R.
November 2016
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions;2016, p1
Academic Journal
Water vapour is a critical component of the Earth system. Techniques to acquire and improve measurements of atmospheric water vapour and its isotopes are under active development. This work presents a detailed intercomparison of water vapour total column measurements taken between 2006 and 2014 at a Canadian high Arctic research site. Instruments include radiosondes, sun photometers, a microwave radiometer, and emission and solar absorption Fourier transform spectrometers (FTSs). Good agreement is observed between all combination of datasets, with correlation coefficients ≥ 0.90 showing high correlations. A variety of biases and calibration issues are revealed and discussed for all instruments. A new FTS dataset, resulting from the MUSICA (Multi-platform remote Sensing of Isotopologues for investigating the Cycle of Atmospheric water) retrieval technique, is shown to offer accurate measurements of water vapour total columns; however, measurements show a small wet bias of approximately 6%. A new dataset derived from Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) measurements is also shown to provide accurate water vapour measurements, which usefully enables measurements to be taken during day and night (especially valuable during Polar Night). In addition, limited profile comparisons are conducted using radiosonde and ground-based FTS measurements. Results show MUSICA FTS profiles were within 15% of radiosonde measurements throughout the troposphere.


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