Climate-Scale Oceanic Rainfall Based on Passive Microwave Radiometry

Chapter

Abstract

In the microwave regime, the relatively low and stable emissivity of the sea surface serves as an excellent background over which brightly emitting hydrometeors can be distinguished. Space/time oceanic rainfall has been estimated from microwave radiometry using a simple radiative transfer model of an atmospheric rain column, a rain rate distribution to account for sampling deficiencies, and an empirical correction of the nonuniformly filled field of view of the microwave sensor. The microwave emission-based brightness temperature histogram (METH) technique has been applied to the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) to produce over 25 years of monthly oceanic rainfall. The METH technique is described and the retrieved parameters are assessed. The inter-satellite calibration of microwave and DMSP SSM/I sensors provided a climate-scale oceanic rainfall time series capable of examining climate trends and variabilities.

Keywords

Microwave radiometry SSM/I Oceanic rainfall Rain frequency Mixed lognormal distribution Inter-satellite calibration Climate trend 

Abbreviations

AMSR-E

Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-Earth Observing System

BFC

Beamfilling correction

DMSP

Defense Meteorological Satellite Program

EMI

El Nino Southern Oscillation Modoki Index

ENSO

El Nino Southern Oscillation

EOF

Empirical Orthogonal Function

FOV

Field of view

GARP

Global Atmospheric Research Experiment

GATE

GARP Atlantic Tropical Experiment

GCM

General circulation model

GOES

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite

GPCP

Global Precipitation Climatology Project

GPI

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Precipitation Index

GSSTF

Goddard Space Flight Center Satellite-based Sea surface Turbulent

ICOADS

International Comprehensive Ocean-Atmosphere Data Set

ITCZ

Intertropical Convergence Zone

METH

Microwave emission-based brightness temperature histogram

NASA

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NSIDC

National Snow and Ice Data Center

PC

Principal component

PSPDC

Polar Satellite Precipitation Data Center

RSS

Remote Sensing Systems

SACZ

South Atlantic Convergence Zone

SOI

Southern Oscillation Index

SPCZ

South Pacific Convergence Zone

SSM/I

Special sensor microwave imager

SSMIS

Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder

TMI

Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission Microwave Imager

TRMM

Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission

Notes

Acknowledgments

Drs. T. Wilheit and A. T-C. Chang are codevelopers of this technique. Dr. Chang started the GPCP-PSPDC and was responsible for the initial development and operations. He passed away in May 2004. His leadership, perseverance, and mentoring would be sorely missed. Thanks are due to Drs. R. North, B. Kedem, D. Short, A. McConnell, R. Adler, and G. Huffman for their input throughout the course of development. Our work has been supported by NASA TRMM and NOAA Office of Global Programs during its various stages of development and processing. Drs. R. Adler, P. Arkin, A. Gruber, R. Kakar, S. Braun, and A. Hou are acknowledged for their support. DBS was supported by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant CATER 2012–2063.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, College of ScienceGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.Department of Atmospheric ScienceYonsei UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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