605 Recommendations from the Science Community Workshop on Polar Orbiting IR and MW Sounders

Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Washington State Convention Center
Thomas S. Pagano, JPL, Pasadena, CA; and C. D. Barnet, J. Susskind, K. Bowman, and E. Fetzer

Handout (1.2 MB)

Hyper-spectral infrared and microwave sounders, .e.g., AIRS, AMSU and IASI, have become invaluable tools for modern operational numerical weather prediction. The rich information content in their data, along with other IR sounders such as TES and MOPITT, are becoming increasingly integral to a diverse suite of science investigations including the hydrological cycle, climate variability and feedbacks, atmospheric composition, air quality, and global greenhouse gas distributions. With the eventual loss of the A-train in conjunction with the increasing need to construct long-term climate-quality data sets, it is vital that continuation of some part of these measurements and their derived products be made by current and planned operational sounders (e.g. the Cross-track Infrared Sounder, CrIS, and the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder, ATMS, and the European Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer, IASI). However, identification of those products critical to the community and an assessment of their expected accuracy/precision for currently planned sounders has not yet been fully explored.

Among the many measurements expected to cease in the next few years, the NRC decadal survey committee identified temperature and water vapor profiles as one of the measurements providing critical information today which needs to be sustained into the next decade. Other measurements made by the current generation of sounders including cloud properties, greenhouse and air quality gases have become critical to the scientific community. In order to identify paths for continuity in sounder observations and needs for further improvement, NASA sponsored a 2 day Science Community Workshop on Polar Orbiting IR and MW Sounders. The workshop was intended to address the following questions: 1. What is the range of scientific research currently carried out with atmospheric sounding instruments including AIRS, IASI-A, AMSU, TES, and MOPITT? 2. How can the planned CrIS, ATMS, IASI-B, IASI-C continue to support the scientific research enabled by the EOS sounders? 3. What requirements are needed from future sounders (e.g. post-EPS, post-NPOESS) to address the critical challenges in weather, climate, air quality and carbon cycle research. 4. How can planned and future sounders complement, or act as a bridge to NASA Decadal Survey missions?

Results and recommendations from the workshop are presented.

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