The new Radiosounding HARMonization (RHARM) data set of homogenized radiosounding temperature, humidity, and wind profiles with uncertainties.
Madonna, F., Tramutola, E., SY, S., Serva, F., Proto, M., Rosoldi, M.
by Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres (JGR) at 2021-12-28
Observational records are more often than not influenced by residual non-climatic factors which must be detected and adjusted for prior to their usage. In this work, we present a novel approach, named Radiosounding HARMonization (RHARM), providing a homogenized data set of temperature, humidity and wind profiles along with an estimation of the measurement uncertainties for 697 radiosounding stations globally. The RHARM method has been used to adjust twice daily (0000 and 1200 UTC) radiosonde data holdings at 16 pressure levels in the range 1,000–10 hPa, from 1978 to present, provided by the Integrated Global Radiosonde Archive. Relative humidity (RH) data are limited to 250 hPa. The applied adjustments are interpolated to all reported levels. RHARM is the first data set to provide homogenized time series with an estimation of the observational uncertainty at each sounding pressure level. By construction, RHARM adjusted fields are not affected by cross-contamination of biases across stations and are fully independent of reanalysis data. Analysis of trends for temperature, RH and winds highlights increased geographical coherency of trends over 1978–2000 globally, but especially in the Northern Hemisphere and South America. RHARM shows warming trends of 0.39 K/decade at 300 hPa in the Northern Hemisphere and of 0.25 K/decade in the tropics. The RHARM adjustments also reduce differences with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast ERA5 reanalysis, with the strongest effect in the Northern Hemisphere for temperature and relative humidity. For wind speed, the comparison indicates a good agreement with ERA5 in the troposphere.