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Integrated water vapour content retrievals from ship-borne GNSS receivers during EUREC4A

Abstract : In the framework of the EUREC4A (Elucidating the role of clouds–circulation coupling in climate) campaign that took place in January and February 2020, integrated water vapour (IWV) contents were retrieved over the open tropical Atlantic Ocean using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) data acquired from three research vessels (R/Vs): R/V Atalante, R/V Maria S. Merian and R/V Meteor. This paper describes the GNSS processing method and compares the GNSS IWV retrievals with IWV estimates from the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) fifth reanalysis (ERA5), from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) infrared products and from terrestrial GNSS stations located along the tracks of the ships. The ship-borne GNSS IWV retrievals from R/V Atalante and R/V Meteor compare well with ERA5, with small biases (−1.62 kg m−2 for R/V Atalante and +0.65 kg m−2 for R/V Meteor) and a root mean square (rms) difference of about 2.3 kg m−2. The results for the R/V Maria S. Merian are found to be of poorer quality, with an rms difference of 6 kg m−2, which is very likely due to the location of the GNSS antenna on this R/V prone to multipath effects. The comparisons with ground-based GNSS data confirm these results. The comparisons of all three R/V IWV retrievals with MODIS infrared products show large rms differences of 5–7 kg m−2, reflecting the enhanced uncertainties in these satellite products in the tropics. These ship-borne IWV retrievals are intended to be used for the description and understanding of meteorological phenomena that occurred during the campaign, east of Barbados, Guyana and northern Brazil. Both the raw GNSS measurements and the IWV estimates are available through the AERIS data centre (https://en.aeris-data.fr/, last access: 20 September 2020). The digital object identifiers (DOIs) for R/V Atalante IWV and raw datasets are https://doi.org/10.25326/71 (Bosser et al., 2020a) and https://doi.org/10.25326/74 (Bosser et al., 2020d), respectively. The DOIs for the R/V Maria S. Merian IWV and raw datasets are https://doi.org/10.25326/72 (Bosser et al., 2020b) and https://doi.org/10.25326/75 (Bosser et al., 2020e), respectively. The DOIs for the R/V Meteor IWV and raw datasets are https://doi.org/10.25326/73 (Bosser et al., 2020c) and https://doi.org/10.25326/76 (Bosser et al., 2020f), respectively.
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Contributor : Pierre Bosser <>
Submitted on : Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 3:16:20 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 2, 2021 - 4:27:35 PM

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Pierre Bosser, Olivier Bock, Cyrille Flamant, Sandrine Bony, Sabrina Speich. Integrated water vapour content retrievals from ship-borne GNSS receivers during EUREC4A. Earth System Science Data, Copernicus Publications, 2021, 13, pp.1499-1517. ⟨10.5194/essd-13-1499-2021⟩. ⟨hal-03155533⟩

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