Decadal variations in tropical water vapor: A comparison of observations and a model simulation

B. J. Soden, S. R. Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Multiple satellite records of tropical-mean water vapor are compared with a general circulation model (GCM) simulation to assess the ability to monitor and to predict low-frequency changes in total precipitable water. Particular attention is focused on the drying between 1979 and 1995 recorded by a TOVS statistical retrieval that is calibrated to radiosondes. Both a GCM integrated with observed SSTs and microwave and TOVS physical retrievals that overlap the drying period show no sustained drying. This discrepancy is consistent with the suggestion by Ross and Gaffen that the TOVS statistical algorithm is vulnerable to radiosonde instrumentation changes over this period that introduce an artificial drying trend into the retrieval.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3337-3341
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number19
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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