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Authors: Reutter, Philipp
Neis, Patrick
Rohs, Susanne
Sauvage, Bastien
Title: Ice supersaturated regions : properties and validation of ERA-Interim reanalysis with IAGOS in situ water vapour measurements
Online publication date: 28-Jan-2021
Language: english
Abstract: Cirrus clouds and their potential formation regions, so-called ice supersaturated regions (ISSRs), with values of relative humidity with respect to ice exceeding 100 %, occur frequently in the tropopause region. It is assumed that ISSRs and cirrus clouds can change the tropopause structure by diabatic processes, driven by latent heating due to phase transition and interaction with radiation. For many research questions, a three-dimensional picture including a sufficient temporal resolution of the water vapour fields in the tropopause region is required. This requirement is fulfilled nowadays by reanalysis products such as the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) ERA-Interim reanalysis. However, for a meaningful investigation of water vapour in the tropopause region, a comparison of the reanalysis data with measurement is advisable, since it is difficult to measure water vapour and to assimilate meaningful measurements into reanalysis products. Here, we present an intercomparison of high-resolution in situ measurements aboard passenger aircraft within the European Research Infrastructure IAGOS (In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System;, last access: 15 January 2020) with ERA-Interim. Temperature and humidity data over the North Atlantic from 2000 to 2009 are compared relative to the dynamical tropopause. The comparison of the temperature shows good agreement between the measurement and ERA-Interim. While ERA-Interim also shows the main features of the water vapour measurements of IAGOS, the variability of the data is clearly smaller in the reanalysis data set. The combination of temperature and water vapour leads to the relative humidity with respect to ice (RHi). Here, ERA-Interim deviates from the measurements concerning values larger than RHi=100 %, both in number and strength of supersaturation. Also, pathlengths of ISSRs along flight tracks are investigated, representing macrophysical properties as linked to atmospheric flows. The comparison of ISSR pathlengths shows distinct differences, which can be traced back to the spatial resolution of both data sets. Also, the seasonal cycle and height dependence of pathlengths changes for the different data sets due to their spatial resolution. IAGOS shows a significantly greater amount of smaller ISSRs compared to ERA-Interim. Good agreement begins only at pathlengths on the order of the ERA-Interim spatial resolution and larger.
DDC: 530 Physik
530 Physics
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 08 Physik, Mathematik u. Informatik
Place: Mainz
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
License: CC BY
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Journal: Atmospheric chemistry and physics
Pages or article number: 787
Publisher: EGU
Publisher place: Katlenburg-Lindau
Issue date: 2020
ISSN: 1680-7324
Publisher URL:
Publisher DOI: 10.5194/acp-20-787-2020
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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