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Past, Present and Future of In Situ Soundings
Meteorological Observatory Lindenberg
Systematic observations of the free troposphere and stratosphere have been taking place for over 100 years. Early measurements were taken by kites carrying in situ recording instruments. For over 80 years measurements are being obtained using balloon borne radiosondes. These observations are at the basis of much of our understanding of the atmosphere and still provide essential input for numerical weather prediction and for investigations of atmospheric processes.
Despite the long record of observations, radiosondes are just becoming a tool to establish reliable long term climate records. Deriving temperature trends from radiosonde data in the troposphere is becoming a reality; however, deriving temperature trends from radiosondes in the stratosphere as well as humidity trends from radiosondes still requires substantial work.
Part of this effort is undertaken within the GCOS Reference Upper Air Network (GRUAN), which works within the WMO framework, to implement reference observations for temperature, water vapor and other essential climate variables. Observations within this network will be used as anchor within the global observing system, for studies of atmospheric processes as well as for long term climate studies.
The development of new small sounding sensors allows simultaneous in situ observations of atmospheric parameters on small soundings and thus enables studies of atmospheric processes previously limited to larger and more expensive research platforms. In situ soundings will remain a key technique in atmospheric research and numerical weather prediction.
Thursday, 22 May 2014, 2:00PM
3450 Mitchell Lane
Bldg. 2 Small Seminar Room (Rm 1001)