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Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050174

Variability and Trends in Global Precipitable Water Vapor Retrieved from COSMIC Radio Occultation and Radiosonde Observations

1
School of Hydrology and Water Resources, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
2
College of Atmospheric Science, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 7 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Abstract

The spatial and temporal variations in global precipitable water (PW) derived from satellite and radiosonde observations during 2007–2016 are compared and analyzed in this study. The two observations show a good agreement in global spatiotemporal distributions and trends in PW. Generally, PW shows apparent latitudinal and seasonal variations. The averaged PW peaks in the tropical region, with the value of 40 mm or higher, and then decreases apparently to the polar region, less than 10 mm. PWs are larger in warm seasons and smaller in cold seasons for both hemispheres. It is indicated that the spatial and seasonal variabilities of PW are highly related to water vapor source and surface temperature as a direct heat source. The global PWs have changed in the past 60 years and, to some extent, strongly in the recent 10 years. It is found that PWs at Australian stations present statistically significant decreasing trends in last 60 years, while PWs at most stations in the United States have increasing trends. According to the global observations, it is found that PWs show uptrends over land and downtrends over the ocean in last 10 years, implying the widespread increase of water vapor in the troposphere over land. View Full-Text
Keywords: precipitable water; atmospheric water vapor; satellite; radiosonde precipitable water; atmospheric water vapor; satellite; radiosonde
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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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Zhang, Y.; Xu, J.; Yang, N.; Lan, P. Variability and Trends in Global Precipitable Water Vapor Retrieved from COSMIC Radio Occultation and Radiosonde Observations. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 174.

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