Climate Dynamics

, Volume 43, Issue 5–6, pp 1439–1448 | Cite as

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

  • F. Weng
  • X. ZouEmail author
  • Z. Qin


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 



This work was supported by Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology under 973 project 2010CB951600.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NOAA/NESDIS/Center for Satellite Applications and ResearchCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric ScienceFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  3. 3.NUIST/Center of Data Assimilation for Research and ApplicationNanjingChina

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