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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1097
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1097
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 29 Nov 2018

Research article | 29 Nov 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Validating the water vapour content from a reanalysis product and a regional climate model over Europe based on GNSS observations

Julie Berckmans1,2, Roeland Van Malderen1, Eric Pottiaux3, Rosa Pacione4, and Rafiq Hamdi1 Julie Berckmans et al.
  • 1Royal Meteorological Institute, Ringlaan 3, 1180 Brussels, Belgium
  • 2Centre of Excellence Plants and Ecosystems (PLECO), University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
  • 3Royal Observatory of Belgium, Ringlaan 3, 1180 Brussels, Belgium
  • 4e-GEOS S.p.A. ASI/CGS Matera, Italy

Abstract. The use of ground-based observations is suitable for the assessment of atmospheric water vapour in climate models. Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) provide information on the Integrated Water Vapour (IWV), at a high temporal and spatial resolution. We used IWV observations at 100 European GNSS sites to evaluate the regional climate model ALARO running at 20 km horizontal resolution and coupled to the land surface model SURFEX, driven by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Interim Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) data. The observations recorded in the selected stations span from 1996 to 2014 (with minimum 10 years) and were homogeneously reprocessed during the second reprocessing campaign of the EUREF Permanent Network (EPN Repro2). The outcome of the reprocessing was then used to compute IWV time series at these stations. The yearly cycle of the IWV for the 19-year period from 1996 to 2014 reveals that the model simulates well the seasonal variation. Although the model overestimates IWV during winter and spring, it is consistent with the driving field of ERA-Interim. However, the agreement with ERA-Interim is less in summer, when the model demonstrates an underestimation of the IWV. The model presents a cold and dry bias in summer that feedbacks to a lower evapotranspiration and results in too few water vapour. The spatial variability among the sites is high and shows a dependence on the altitude of the stations which is strongest in summer and by ALARO-SURFEX. The IWV diurnal cycle presents best results with ERA-Interim in the morning, whereas ALARO-SURFEX presents best results at midnight.

Julie Berckmans et al.
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The use of ground-based observations is suitable for the assessment of atmospheric water vapour in climate models. We used water vapour observations from 100 European sites to evaluate two models: a reanalysis product and a regional climate model. The results reveal patterns in the water vapour distribution both in time and space that are relevant as water vapour plays a key role in the feedback process of a changing climate.
The use of ground-based observations is suitable for the assessment of atmospheric water vapour...
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