Principal Investigator (PI): Thomas Yunck, GeoOptics, LLC

With this project we propose to: (1) assemble the components of the General Earth Science Investigation Suite (GENESIS)/SciFlo Earth science analysis system developed under NASA's REASoN program into an online, interactive Climate Virtual Observatory (CVO); and (2) employ CVO in a critical recalibration of historical remote sensing data to reveal recent temperature trends throughout the atmosphere. CVO will specialize in atmospheric data from a variety of spaceborne sensors, including Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU), Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR), and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer - EOS (AMSR-E) on the Terra and Aqua satellites, and GPS radio occultation (GPSRO) data from Challenging Mini-satellite Payload (CHAMP), Satellite for Scientific Applications (SAC-C) and Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate (COSMIC).

Several other data sources will also be accessible. CVO specifically targets multi-sensor studies in regional and global climate variability and change. The datasets and analysis tools it offers will also be of use in studies of atmospheric composition, weather, and carbon and water cycles.

CVO will be accessible online through its own URL, as well as through the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Earth Information Exchange. Our science team will apply CVO in a fundamental recalibration of nearly a decade of atmospheric temperature data from AIRS, AMSU and MODIS on Terra and Aqua, and earlier AMSU data from two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites.

This will be achieved using the precise and absolute data from NASA's GPS occultation instruments on CHAMP, SAC-C and COSMIC. The recalibrated radiometer data will reveal with unrivalled clarity the recent temperature trends at different altitudes and may resolve some fundamental questions as to how the atmosphere as a whole is responding to climate change. The corrections will be applied both in the present and retroactively, even before GPSRO data were available.

From this work we will publish a comprehensive survey of corrected atmospheric temperature trends from ~5 to 30 km altitude for the full globe, five broad latitude bands, all continents, and selected sub-continental regions.

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