Articles | Volume 16, issue 15
Research article
08 Aug 2016
Research article |  | 08 Aug 2016

Planetary boundary layer height from CALIOP compared to radiosonde over China

Wanchun Zhang, Jianping Guo, Yucong Miao, Huan Liu, Yong Zhang, Zhengqiang Li, and Panmao Zhai

Abstract. Accurate estimation of planetary boundary layer height (PBLH) is key to air quality prediction, weather forecast, and assessment of regional climate change. The PBLH retrieval from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) is expected to complement ground-based measurements due to the broad spatial coverage of satellites. In this study, CALIOP PBLHs are derived from combination of Haar wavelet and maximum variance techniques, and are further validated against PBLHs estimated from ground-based lidar at Beijing and Jinhua. Correlation coefficients between PBLHs from ground- and satellite-based lidars are 0.59 at Beijing and 0.65 at Jinhua. Also, the PBLH climatology from CALIOP and radiosonde are compiled over China during the period from 2011 to 2014. Maximum CALIOP-derived PBLH can be seen in summer as compared to lower values in other seasons. Three matchup scenarios are proposed according to the position of each radiosonde site relative to its closest CALIPSO ground tracks. For each scenario, intercomparisons were performed between CALIOP- and radiosonde-derived PBLHs, and scenario 2 is found to be better than other scenarios using difference as the criteria. In early summer afternoon over 70 % of the total radiosonde sites have PBLH values ranging from 1.6 to 2.0 km. Overall, CALIOP-derived PBLHs are well consistent with radiosonde-derived PBLHs. To our knowledge, this study is the first intercomparison of PBLH on a large scale using the radiosonde network of China, shedding important light on the data quality of initial CALIOP-derived PBLH results.

Short summary
The PBL height retrieval from CALIOP aboard CALIPSO can significantly complement the traditional ground-based methods, which is only for one site. Our study, to our current knowledge, is the first intercomparison study of PBLH on a large scale using long-term radiosonde observations in China. Three matchup schemes were proposed based on the position of radiosondes relative to CALIPSO ground tracks in China. Results indicate that CALIOP is promising for reliable PBLH retrievals.
Final-revised paper