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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Retrieving Decadal Climate Change from Satellite Radiance Observations—A 100-year CO2 Doubling OSSE Demonstration

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Preparing for climate change depends on the observation and prediction of decadal trends of the environmental variables, which have a direct impact on the sustainability of resources affecting the quality of life on our planet. The NASA Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) mission is proposed to provide climate quality benchmark spectral radiance observations for the purpose of determining the decadal trends of climate variables, and validating and improving the long-range climate model forecasts needed to prepare for the changing climate of the Earth. The CLARREO will serve as an in-orbit, absolute, radiometric standard for the cross-calibration of hyperspectral radiance spectra observed by the international system of polar operational satellite sounding sensors. Here, we demonstrate that the resulting accurately cross-calibrated polar satellite global infrared spectral radiance trends (e.g., from the Metop IASI instrument considered here) can be interpreted in terms of temperature and water vapor profile trends. This demonstration is performed using atmospheric state data generated for a 100-year period from 2000-2099, produced by a numerical climate model prediction that was forced by the doubling of the global average atmospheric CO2 over the 100-year period. The vertical profiles and spatial distribution of temperature decadal trends were successfully diagnosed by applying a linear regression profile retrieval algorithm to the simulated hyperspectral radiance spectra for the 100-year period. These results indicate that it is possible to detect decadal trends in atmospheric climate variables from high accuracy all-sky satellite infrared radiance spectra using the linear regression retrieval technique.

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