Climate and Dynamics
Tropospheric temperature change since 1979 from tropical radiosonde and satellite measurements
Article first published online: 16 MAR 2007
Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012)
Volume 112, Issue D6, 27 March 2007
How to Cite
2007), Tropospheric temperature change since 1979 from tropical radiosonde and satellite measurements, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D06102, doi:10.1029/2005JD006881., , , and (
- Issue published online: 16 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 16 MAR 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 AUG 2006
- Manuscript Revised: 14 JUN 2006
- Manuscript Received: 11 NOV 2005
 Temperature change of the lower troposphere (LT) in the tropics (20°S–20°N) during the period 1979–2004 is examined using 58 radiosonde (sonde) stations and the microwave-based satellite data sets of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH v5.2) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS v2.1). At the 29 stations that make both day and night observations, the average nighttime trend (+0.12 K decade−1) is 0.05 K decade−1 more positive than that for the daytime (+0.07 K decade−1) in the unadjusted observations, an unlikely physical possibility indicating adjustments are needed. At the 58 sites the UAH data indicate a trend of +0.08 K decade−1, the RSS data, +0.15. When the largest discontinuities in the sondes are detected and removed through comparison with UAH data, the trend of day and night releases combined becomes +0.09, and using RSS data, +0.12. Relative to several data sets, the RSS data show a warming shift, broadly occurring in 1992, of between +0.07 K and +0.13 K. Because the shift occurs at the time NOAA-12 readings began to be merged into the satellite data stream and large NOAA-11 adjustments were applied, the discrepancy appears to be due to bias adjustment procedures. Several comparisons are consistent with a 26-year trend and error estimate for the UAH LT product for the full tropics of +0.05 ± 0.07, which is very likely less than the tropical surface trend of +0.13 K decade−1.