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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Intercalibration between HIRS/2 and HIRS/3 channel 12 based on physical considerations
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Technical note: On the intercalibration of HIRS channel 12 brightness temperatures following the transition from HIRS 2 to HIRS 3/4 for ice saturation studies
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Technical Note: 30 years of HIRS data of upper tropospheric humidity
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Revised manuscript accepted for ACP
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Cited articles

Brogniez, H., Roca, R., and Picon, L.: A study of the free tropospheric humidity interannual variability using Meteosot data and an advection–condensation transport model, J. Climate, 22, 6773–6787, 2009.
Chung, E.-S., Soden, B., Sohn, B., and Shi, L.: Upper-tropospheric moistening in response to anthropogenic warming, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 111, 11636–11641, 2014.
Clough, S., Iacono, M., and Moncet, J.-L.: Line-by-line calculations of atmospheric fluxes and cooling rates: application to water vapor, J. Geophys. Res., 97, 15761–15785, 1992.
Dietmüller, S., Ponater, M., and Sausen, R.: Interactive ozone induces a negative feedback in CO2-driven climate change simulations, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 119, 1796–1805, https://doi.org/10.1002/2013JD020575, 2014.
Gierens, K., Kohlhepp, R., Spichtinger, P., and Schroedter-Homscheidt, M.: Ice supersaturation as seen from TOVS, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 4, 539–547, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-4-539-2004, 2004.
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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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