GCOS Reference Upper-Air Network

The value of collaboration in New Zealand

Development of a Site Atmospheric State Best Estimate for Lauder temperature demonstrates the value of collaboration between NIWA and the New Zealand Met Service.

A Site Atmospheric State Best Estimate (SASBE) for temperature, combining ERA5 reanalysis and measurements from New Zealand sites Lauder and Invercargill, has been developed. This realises significant synergies between the research flights flown periodically by NIWA at Lauder and the twice daily operational sounding program at Invercargill undertaken by the New Zealand Met Service. These data were combined within the SASBE to generate a high temporal resolution data set that includes an estimate of the uncertainty on every value. The resulting temperature profile data product is expected to be valuable for satellite and model validation because measurements of atmospheric ECVs are sparse in this Southern Hemisphere region. The SASBE could, for example, be used to constrain a radiative transfer model to provide top-of-the-atmosphere radiances with traceable uncertainty estimates.

The work also demonstrates a method to combine data collected at distributed sites, in this case Lauder and Invercargill, about 180 km apart. The result is a highly valuable contribution to the GRUAN network and wider science community. The study is published in the journal Earth System Science Data: 'Combining Data from the Distributed GRUAN Site Lauder-Invercargill, New Zealand, to Provide a Site Atmospheric State Best Estimate of Temperature', doi.org/10.5194/essd-10-2195-2018.

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