Calibration of Temperature in the Lower Stratosphere from Microwave Measurements Using COSMIC Radio Occultation Data: Preliminary Results

  • Author(s): Shu-Peng Ho, Mitch Goldberg, Ying-Hwa Kuo, Cheng-Zhi Zou, and William Schreiner
  • DOI:


  • Keywords: FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC, Temperature in the Lower Stratosphere, AMSU



Accurate, consistent, and stable observations from different satellite missions are crucial for climate change detection. In this study, we use Global Positioning System (GPS) Radio Occultation (RO) data from the early phase of the FORMOSAT-3/Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC) mission, which was successfully launched on 15 April 2006, to inter-calibrate Temperature in the Lower Stratosphere (TLS) taken from Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) microwave measurements from different satellites for potential improvements of stratospheric temperature trend analysis. Because of the limited number of COSMIC soundings in the early phase of the mission, these results are considered preliminary. In this study, we use COSMIC RO data to simulate microwave brightness temperatures for comparison with AMSU Ch9 measurements (e.g., TLS) on board NOAA15, 16, and 18. Excellent correlation was found between synthetic COSMIC brightness temperatures (Tbs) and Tbs from NOAA15, NOAA16, and NOAA18, respectively. However, systematic differences on the order of 0.7 to 2 K were found between COSMIC and AMSU observations over Antarctica. Our results demonstrate that synthetic COSMIC Tbs are very useful in identifying inter-satellite offsets among AMSU measurements from different satellites. To demonstrate the long-term stability of GPS RO data, we compare COSMIC dry temperature profiles to those from collocated CHAMP profiles, where CHAMP was launched in 2001. The fact that the CHAMPand COSMIC dry temperature difference between 500 and 10 hPa ranges from -0.35 K (at 10 hPa) to 0.25 K (at 30 hPa) and their mean difference is about -0.034 K demonstrates the long-term stability of GPS RO signals. In order to demonstrate the potential usage of the GPS RO calibrated AMSU Tbs to inter-calibrate other overlapping AMSU Tbs, we examine the uncertainty of the calibration coefficients derived from AMSU-GPS RO pairs. We found the difference between COSMIC calibrated AMSU Tbs and those from CHAMP to be in the range of __0.07 K with a 0.1 K standard deviation. This demonstrates the robustness of the calibration coefficients found from AMSU-GPS RO pairs and shows the potential to use the calibrated AMSU Tbs to calibrate other overlapping AMSU Tbs where no coincident GPS RO data are available.

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