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Evaluation of Wet Troposphere Path Delays from Atmospheric Reanalyses and Radiometers and Their Impact on the Altimeter Sea Level : Volume 11, Issue 3 (23/06/2014)

By Legeais, J.-f.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004020787
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 30
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Evaluation of Wet Troposphere Path Delays from Atmospheric Reanalyses and Radiometers and Their Impact on the Altimeter Sea Level : Volume 11, Issue 3 (23/06/2014)  
Author: Legeais, J.-f.
Volume: Vol. 11, Issue 3
Language: English
Subject: Science, Ocean, Science
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Ablain, M., Thao, S., & Legeais, J. (2014). Evaluation of Wet Troposphere Path Delays from Atmospheric Reanalyses and Radiometers and Their Impact on the Altimeter Sea Level : Volume 11, Issue 3 (23/06/2014). Retrieved from

Description: Collecte Localisation Satellites, Parc Technologique du canal, 8–10 rue Hermès, 31520 Ramonville Saint-Agne, France. The assessment of long-term errors in altimeter sea level measurements is essential for studies related to the mean sea level (MSL) evolution. One of the main contributors to the long-term sea level uncertainties is the correction of the altimeter range from the wet troposphere path delay, which is provided by onboard microwave radiometers for the main altimeter missions. The wet troposphere correction (WTC) derived from the operational European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) atmospheric model is usually used as a reference for comparison with the radiometer WTC. However, due to several improvements of the processing, this model is not homogenous over the altimetry period (from 1993 onwards), preventing the detection of errors in the radiometer WTC, especially in the first altimetry decade. In this study, we determine the quality of WTC provided by the operational ECMWF atmospheric model in comparison with the fields derived from the ERA Interim (ECMWF) and the National Centers for Environmental Predictions/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) reanalyses. Separating our analyses on several temporal and spatial scales, we demonstrate that ERA Interim provides the best modeled WTC for the altimeter sea level at climate scales. This allows us to better evaluate the radiometer WTC errors, especially for the first altimetry decade (1993–2002), and thus to improve the altimeter MSL error budget. This work also demonstrates the relevance of the feed-backs that the altimetry and atmosphere communities can bring to each other.

Evaluation of wet troposphere path delays from atmospheric reanalyses and radiometers and their impact on the altimeter sea level

AVISO: TOPEX/Poseidon validation activities, 13 years of T/P data (GDR-Ms), CLS.DOS/NT/05.240. SALP-RP-MA-EA-21315-CLS, available at: (last access: 20 March 2014), 2006.; AVISO 2013: SSALTO/DUACS User Handbook: (M)SLA and (M)ADT Near-Real Time and Delayed Time Products, CLS-DOS-NT-06-034, SALP-MU-P-EA-21065-CLS, 2013.; Ablain, M., Cazenave, A., Valladeau, G., and Guinehut, S.: A new assessment of the error budget of global mean sea level rate estimated by satellite altimetry over 1993–2008, Ocean Sci., 5, 193–201, doi:10.5194/os-5-193-2009, 2009.; Ablain, M., Larnicol, G., Faugere, Y., Cazenave, A., Meyssignac, B., Picot, N., and Benveniste, J.: Error Characterization of Altimetry Measurements at Climate Scales. Proceedings of the 20 years of progress in radar altimetry symposium, Venice, available at: (last access: 20 March 2014), 2012.; Andersson, E., Bauer, P., Beljaars, A., Chevallier, F., Holm, E., Janiskova, M., Kallberg, P., Kelly, G., Lopez, P., Mcnally, A., Moreau, E., Simmons, A. J., Thépaut, J.-N., and Tompkins, A. M.: Assimilation and Modeling of the Atmospheric Hydrological Cycle in the ECMWF Forecasting System. B. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 86, 387–402, doi:10.1175/BAMS-86-3-387, 2005.; Bengtsson, L., Hagemann, S., and Hodges, K. I.: Can climate trends be calculated from reanalysis data?, J. Geophys. Res., 109, D11111, doi:10.1029/2004JD004536, 2004.; Brown, S.: A novel near-land radiometer wet path-delay retrieval algorithm: application to the Jason-2/OSTM advanced microwave radiometer, IEEE T. Geosci. Remote, 48, 1986–1992, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2009.2037220, 2010.; Brown, S., Desai, S., Wenwen, L., and Tanner, A. B.: On the long-term stability of microwave radiometers using noise diodes for calibration, IEEE T. Geosci. Remote, 45, 1908–1920, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2006.888098, 2007.; Brown, S., Desai, S., and Sibthorpe, A.: Error structures in the altimetry data from the Wet Tropospheric Path Delay correction, in: Proceedings of the OSTST Meeting, Lisbon, available at: (last access: 20 March 2014), 2010.; Brown, S., Desai, S., and Sibthorpe, A.: Improvements to the radiometer processing for GDR-D, in: Proceedings of the OSTST meeting, San Diego CA,\\%205; Carrère, L.: Improvement of DAC for climate and mesoscale studies using the ERA-Interim dataset, in preparation, 2014.; Cazenave, A., Chambers, D. P., Cipollini, P., Fu, L.-L., Hurell, J. W., Merrifield, M., Nerem, R. S., Plag, H. P., Shum, C. K., and Willis, J.: The challenge for measuring sea level rise and regional and global trends, in: Proceedings of OceanObs'09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Informa


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