Articles | Volume 16, issue 6
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 4159–4169, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-4159-2016
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 4159–4169, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-4159-2016

Research article 30 Mar 2016

Research article | 30 Mar 2016

Upper tropospheric humidity changes under constant relative humidity

Klaus Gierens and Kostas Eleftheratos

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Short summary
Upper tropospheric humidity (UTH) is a weighted mean of the relative humidity (RH) in the upper troposphere. It can change due to climate change even when the relative humidity would stay unchanged because the weighting functions will alter. We show that changes of UTH expected during 30 years of tropospheric warming are typically less than 1 % in magnitude and mostly negative. Larger positive changes of UTH (as found in an analysis of 30 years of satellite data) point thus to an increase of RH.
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