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Intercomparisons of Long-Term Atmospheric Temperature and Humidity Profile Retrievals

North Carolina State University, Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites—North Carolina (CICS-NC), 151 Patton Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801, USA
NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), 151 Patton Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(7), 853;
Received: 12 February 2019 / Revised: 25 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of Quality and Usability of Climate Data Records)
PDF [2924 KB, uploaded 9 April 2019]


This study builds upon a framework to develop a climate data record of temperature and humidity profiles from high-resolution infrared radiation sounder (HIRS) clear-sky measurements. The resultant time series is a unique, long-term dataset (1978–2017). To validate this long-term dataset, evaluation of the stability of the intersatellite time series is coupled with intercomparisons with independent observation platforms as available in more recent years. Eleven pairs of satellites carrying the HIRS instrument with time periods that overlap are examined. Correlation coefficients were calculated for the retrieval of each atmospheric pressure level and for each satellite pair. More than 90% of the cases examining both temperature and humidity have correlation coefficients greater than 0.7. Very high correlation is demonstrated at the surface and two meter levels for both temperature (>0.99) and specific humidity (>0.93). For the period of 2006–2017, intercomparisons are performed with four independent observations platforms: radiosonde (RS92), constellation observing system for meteorology ionosphere and climate (COSMIC), global climate observing system (GCOS) reference upper-air network (GRUAN), and infrared atmospheric sounding interferometer (IASI). Very close matching of surface and two meter temperatures over a wide domain of values is depicted in all presented intercomparisons: intersatellite matches of HIRS retrievals, HIRS vs. GRUAN, and HIRS vs. IASI. View Full-Text
Keywords: temperature; humidity; HIRS; retrieval algorithms and methods; satellite observation temperature; humidity; HIRS; retrieval algorithms and methods; satellite observation

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Matthews, J.L.; Shi, L. Intercomparisons of Long-Term Atmospheric Temperature and Humidity Profile Retrievals. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 853.

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