Jun 20, 2014

Relative Humidity in the Troposphere with AIRS

Alexander Ruzmaikin, Hartmut H. Aumann, and Evan M. Manning
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences: Vol 71, No 7
  • Applies new global satellite data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) to study the tropospheric relative humidity (RH) distribution and its influence on outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) for January and July in 2003, 2007, and 2011
  • Finds that relative humidity has the largest maxima over 90% in the equatorial tropopause layer in January; maxima in July do not arise above 60%; seasonal variations of about 20% in zonally averaged relative humdity are observed in the equatorial region of the low troposphere, in the equatorial tropopause layer, and in the polar regions
  • Finds the seasonal variability in the recent decade has increased by about 5% relative to that in 1973-88, indicating a positive trend