Climate Dynamics

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 1439-1448

First online:

Uncertainty of AMSU-A derived temperature trends in relationship with clouds and precipitation over ocean

  • F. WengAffiliated withNOAA/NESDIS/Center for Satellite Applications and Research
  • , X. ZouAffiliated withDepartment of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University Email author 
  • , Z. QinAffiliated withNUIST/Center of Data Assimilation for Research and Application

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Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) and Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A (AMSU-A) observations from a series of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites have been extensively utilized for estimating the atmospheric temperature trend. For a given atmospheric temperature condition, the emission and scattering of clouds and precipitation modulate MSU and AMSU-A brightness temperatures. In this study, the effects of the radiation from clouds and precipitation on AMSU-A derived atmospheric temperature trend are assessed using the information from AMSU-A window channels. It is shown that the global mean temperature in the low and middle troposphere has a larger warming rate (about 20–30 % higher) when the cloud-affected radiances are removed from AMSU-A data. It is also shown that the inclusion of cloud-affected radiances in the trend analysis can significantly offset the stratospheric cooling represented by AMSU-A channel 9 over the middle and high latitudes of Northern Hemisphere.


Climate trend Satellite Cloud