Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 26199-26235, 2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
The ground-based FTIR network's potential for investigating the atmospheric water cycle
M. Schneider1, K. Yoshimura2, F. Hase1, and T. Blumenstock1
1Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), IMK-ASF, Karlsruhe, Germany
2Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, USA

Abstract. We present tropospheric H216O and HD16O/H216O vapour profiles measured by ground-based FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared) spectrometers between 1996 and 2008 at a northern hemispheric subarctic and subtropical site (Kiruna, Northern Sweden, 68° N and Izaña, Tenerife Island, 28° N, respectively). We compare these measurements to an isotope incorporated atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM). If the model is nudged towards meteorological fields of reanalyses data the agreement is very satisfactory on time scales ranging from daily to inter-annual which demonstrates the good quality of the FTIR data. Taking the Izaña and Kiruna measurements as an example we document the FTIR network's unique potential for investigating the atmospheric water cycle. For the subtropical site the FTIR observations confirm the central role of the Hadley circulation, but in addition they reveal a strong connection between the Northern Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the middle/upper tropospheric water vapour transport pathways. Concerning the subarctic site the observations indicate that water transport to the lower troposphere is affected by the northern Atlantic sea surface temperature and correlated to the Arctic Oscillation (AO). For the middle troposphere we observe that spring and autumn water transport pathways are different. We document in detail where the AGCM is able to capture these complexities of the water cycle and where it fails.

Citation: Schneider, M., Yoshimura, K., Hase, F., and Blumenstock, T.: The ground-based FTIR network's potential for investigating the atmospheric water cycle, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 26199-26235, doi:10.5194/acpd-9-26199-2009, 2009.
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