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Radiosonde-Observed Vertical Profiles and Increasing Trends of Temperature and Humidity during 2005–2018 at the South Pole

1
Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, School of Remote Sensing and Geomatics Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
2
Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, School of Atmospheric Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
3
School of Atmospheric Sciences, and Guangdong Province Key Laboratory for Climate Change and Natural Disaster Studies, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai 519082, China
4
Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Zhuhai 519082, China
5
Edgemont Junior–Senior High School, New York, NY 10583, USA
6
Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
7
SOA Key Laboratory for Polar Science, Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai 200136, China
8
Institute of Atmospheric Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(7), 365; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10070365
Received: 3 May 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 26 June 2019 / Published: 1 July 2019
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Abstract

The vertical profiles and trends of temperature and humidity at the South Pole up to 10 km above mean sea level (amsl) were investigated by using radiosonde data collected from March 2005 to February 2018. During an average year between 2005 and 2018, the highest (lowest) temperature in the lower troposphere was approximately −25 °C (−60 °C) in December (July) at a height of about 500 m above the surface (at the surface). A temperature inversion layer above the surface was found during the whole year but was weaker during the summer, while the inversion layers at the tropopause (about 8 km amsl) mostly disappeared during spring and winter. General warming trends were found at all heights and months, but in a few heights and months cooling trends still occurred (e.g., in September below 7 km amsl). Nevertheless, seasonal and yearly averaged temperatures all presented warming trends: 1.1, 1.3, 0.6, 1.5 and 1.1 °C/decade at the surface, and 0.7, 1.0, 0.3, 0.3 and 0.6 °C/decade for the layer average from the surface to 10 km amsl, for spring, summer, autumn, winter, and yearly average, respectively. Most of the water vapor was confined in the lowermost 3 km of the atmosphere with a maximum of 0.35 g kg−1 in December at a 200 m height above surface, and the specific humidity had the similar characteristic of annual cycle and inversion layers as the temperature. At heights below 5 km amsl, increasing trends of specific humidity larger than 0.02 g kg−1/decade occurred during summer months, including the late spring and early autumn, and the annual mean showed an increasing trend of about 0.01–0.02 g kg−1/decade. Meanwhile, above 5 km amsl, the trends became small and generally less than 0.02 g kg−1/decade in all the months, and beyond 7 km amsl the specific humidity remained almost invariant due to its small moisture content as compared with lower levels. From the surface to 10 km amsl, the specific humidity averaged trends of 0.0062, 0.019, 0.0013, 0.002 and 0.007 g kg−1/decade for spring, summer, autumn, winter and yearly average, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: the South Pole; temperature; humidity; vertical profile; trend the South Pole; temperature; humidity; vertical profile; trend
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Xu, M.; Li, Y.; Yang, Q.; Gao, A.E.; Han, B.; Yang, Y.; Yu, L.; Wang, L. Radiosonde-Observed Vertical Profiles and Increasing Trends of Temperature and Humidity during 2005–2018 at the South Pole. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 365.

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