Global Long-term Data Sets of the Atmospheric H2O, VCD, and
of Cloud Properties derived from GOME and SCIAMACHY

A contribution to ACCENT-TROPOSAT-2, Task Group 1

Thomas Wagner

Institut für Umweltphysik, University of Heidelberg, NF 229 D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Tel.:  +49-(0)6221 546314
Fax:  +49-(0)6221 546405

Atmospheric water vapour is the most important greenhouse gas which is responsible for about 2/3 of the natural greenhouse effect, therefore changes in atmospheric water vapour in a changing climate is subject to intense debate. H2O is also involved in many important reaction cycles of atmospheric chemistry, e.g. in the production of the OH radical. Thus, long time series of global H2O data are highly required.

New UV/VIS satellite sensors like GOME or SCIAMACHY are capable of measuring the total atmospheric H2O column (including also the surface near concentrations). In contrast to other satellite sensors they are sensitive over both land and ocean. Thus these sensors allow to investigate the global long term evolution of H2O and possibly also to identify a trend due to climate change. Such studies can in particular focus on different regions and seasons.

Currently about 8 years of continuous GOME measurements are available. Of special interest is also the fact that there exists a one-year overlap with its successor SCIAMACHY. Therefore the data sets of both instruments can be combined.

In this project we propose to develop a sensitive and stable H2O column density data product. We will investigate the systematic influence of clouds and aerosols on the retrieved H2O column. Besides cloud fraction also the absorption of the oxygen monomer and dimmer (O4) will be studied.

Using these quantities we are able to study various atmospheric aspects, in particular possible trends of atmospheric H2O and cloud properties for different latitudes and seasons. Additional research will address spatial and temporal patterns due to El-Nino, NAO and QBO.

Time schedule

 

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

H2O analysis from GOME and SCIAMACHY

*

*

*

 

 

Dependence on clouds and aerosols

*

*

*

*

 

Trends of H2O and clouds

 

 

*

*

*

Specific phenomena, e.g. El-Nino, NAO, etc.

 

 

*

*

*

Approximate manpower and cost

 

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Personnel / person-years

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

0.4

Yearly cost (kECU)

5

5

5

5

5

Likely funding agencies

BMBF, EU

Co-workers

Michael Grzegorski

Suniti Sanghavi

Prof. Ulrich Platt

Address:  Institut für Umweltphysik, University of Heidelberg
INF 229, D-69120 Heidelberg
Germany

 

 


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