Articles | Volume 10, issue 4
07 Dec 2018
 | 07 Dec 2018

Combining data from the distributed GRUAN site Lauder–Invercargill, New Zealand, to provide a site atmospheric state best estimate of temperature

Jordis S. Tradowsky, Gregory E. Bodeker, Richard R. Querel, Peter J. H. Builtjes, and Jürgen Fischer

Abstract. A site atmospheric state best estimate (SASBE) of the temperature profile above the GCOS (Global Climate Observing System) Reference Upper-Air Network (GRUAN) site at Lauder, New Zealand, has been developed. Data from multiple sources are combined within the SASBE to generate a high temporal resolution data set that includes an estimate of the uncertainty on every value.

The SASBE has been developed to enhance the value of measurements made at the distributed GRUAN site at Lauder and Invercargill (about 180 km apart), and to demonstrate a methodology which can be adapted to other distributed sites. Within GRUAN, a distributed site consists of a cluster of instruments at different locations.

The temperature SASBE combines measurements from radiosondes and automatic weather stations at Lauder and Invercargill, and ERA5 reanalysis, which is used to calculate a diurnal temperature cycle to which the SASBE converges in the absence of any measurements.

The SASBE provides hourly temperature profiles at 16 pressure levels between the surface and 10 hPa for the years 1997 to 2012. Every temperature value has an associated uncertainty which is calculated by propagating the measurement uncertainties, the ERA5 ensemble standard deviations, and the ERA5 representativeness uncertainty through the retrieval chain. The SASBE has been long-term archived and is identified using the digital object identifier

The study demonstrates a method to combine data collected at distributed sites. The resulting best-estimate temperature data product for Lauder is expected to be valuable for satellite and model validation as measurements of atmospheric essential climate variables are sparse in the Southern Hemisphere. The SASBE could, for example, be used to constrain a radiative transfer model to provide top-of-the-atmosphere radiances with traceable uncertainty estimates.

Short summary
A best-estimate data set of the temperature profile above the atmospheric measurement facility at Lauder, New Zealand, has been developed. This site atmospheric state best estimate (SASBE) combines atmospheric measurements made at two locations and includes an estimate of uncertainty on every data point. The SASBE enhances the value of measurements made by a reference-quality climate observing network and may be used for a variety of purposes in research and education.