Ducting and Boundary Layer Refractivity Bias Correction in GPS Radio Occultation Soundings with MODIS over the Subtropical Eastern Pacific Ocean
Thursday, 17 December 2015: 15:10
3006 (Moscone West)
Over the subtropical eastern Pacific, a large stratus cloud deck is often trapped below a strong inversion layer resulting from the combination of strong free tropospheric subsidence and the cool sea surface temperature underneath. The stable inversion leads to a sharp moisture decrease and a large negative refractivity gradient that often causes ducting right above the cloudy boundary layer (CBL). The presence of duct results in systematically negative biases in the GPS radio occultation (RO) refractivity (i.e., N-bias) inside the CBL due to a non-unique retrieval problem. An independent physical constraint is required to extract a unique and bias-free RO refractivity observation. In the overcast scenario, the inversion base temperature corresponds well to the cloud-top-temperature (CTT) of the stratus, which can be precisely measured from MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) longwave infrared window channel. In this presentation, the MODIS CTT measurements are used as an independent constraint to correct the systematic biases in the near co-incident RO refractivity soundings from COSMIC (Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate). The sensitivity analysis on the reconstruction technique and the comparison of the reconstructed (bias-free) RO profiles with the radiosonde and ECMWF reanalysis will be presented. The synergy of GPS RO and MODIS cloud measurements provides model-independent observation of CBL thermodynamic structures that are crucial for understanding the boundary layer and low cloud processes in global weather and climate model simulations.