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GCOS Upper-Atmosphere ECV - Temperature

Temperature is one of the fundamental state variables for understanding and predicting the behavior of the atmosphere. It is basic to the energy budget of the climate system as a whole through the temperature dependence of the long-wave radiation of energy from the atmosphere to space. Upper-air observations are of key importance for detecting and attributing climate change in the troposphere and stratosphere. They are needed for the development and evaluation of climate models, and for the initialization of forecasts. They are also needed for characterizing the extratropical atmospheric circulation, which is often done using analyses of geopotential height rather than wind. Variations in temperature influence the formation of clouds and precipitation and the rates of chemical reactions, thereby influencing the hydrological and constituent cycles. Data on temperature are also crucial for understanding radiatively important changes in water vapour and cloud in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. In particular, temperature affects the formation of polar stratospheric clouds and consequential ozone loss.

Product requirements:

  • Tropospheric Temperature profile:
    • Frequency: 4hr
    • Resolution: 25 km/1km
    • Required Measurement uncertainty: 0.5 K
    • Stability (per decade unless otherwise specified): 0.05 K
    • Entity (Satellite): WGClimate
    • Entity (in situ): WIGOS
  • Stratospheric Temperature profile:
    • Frequency: 4 hr
    • Resolution: 100 km/2 km
    • Required Measurement uncertainty: 0.5 K
    • Stability (per decade unless otherwise specified): 0.05 K
    • Entity (Satellite): WGClimate
    • Entity (in situ): WIGOS
  • Temperature of deep atmospheric layers:
    • Frequency: Monthly averages
    • Resolution: 100 km/5 km
    • Required Measurement uncertainty: 0.2 K
    • Stability (per decade unless otherwise specified): 0.02 K
    • Entity (Satellite): WGClimate
    • Entity (in situ): WIGOS

Contributing networks:

Data sources: