Articles | Volume 14, issue 18
Research article
16 Sep 2014
Research article |  | 16 Sep 2014

Comparison of IASI water vapor retrieval with H2O-Raman lidar in the framework of the Mediterranean HyMeX and ChArMEx programs

P. Chazette, F. Marnas, J. Totems, and X. Shang

Abstract. The Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) is a new generation spaceborne passive sensor mainly dedicated to meteorological applications. Operational Level-2 products have been available via the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) for several years. In particular, vertical profiles of water vapor measurements are retrieved from infrared radiances at the global scale. Nevertheless, the robustness of such products has to be checked because only a few validations have been reported. For this purpose, the field experiments that were held during the HyMeX and ChArMEx international programs are a very good opportunity. A H2O-Raman lidar was deployed on the Balearic island of Menorca and operated continuously for ~ 6 and ~ 3 weeks during fall 2012 (Hydrological cycle in the Mediterranean eXperiment – HyMeX) and summer 2013 (Chemistry–Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment – ChArMEx), respectively. It measured simultaneously the water vapor mixing ratio and aerosol optical properties. This article does not aim to describe the IASI operational H2O inversion algorithm, but to compare the vertical profiles derived from IASI onboard (meteorological operational) MetOp-A and the ground-based lidar measurements to assess the reliability of the IASI operational product for the water vapor retrieval in both the lower and middle troposphere. The links between water vapor contents and both the aerosol vertical profiles and the air mass origins are also studied. About 30 simultaneous observations, performed during nighttime in cloud free conditions, have been considered. For altitudes ranging from 2 to 7 km, root mean square errors (correlation) of ~ 0.5 g kg−1 (~ 0.77) and ~ 1.1 g kg−1 (~ 0.72) are derived between the operational IASI product and the available lidar profiles during HyMeX and ChArMEx, respectively. The values of both root mean square error and correlation are meaningful and show that the operational Level-2 product of the IASI-derived vertical water vapor mixing ratio can be considered for meteorological and climatic applications, at least in the framework of field campaigns.

Final-revised paper