Integrated water vapour content retrievals from ship-borne GNSS receivers during EUREC4A

Type Article
Date 2021
Language English
Author(s) Bosser Pierre1, Bock Olivier2, 3, Flamant Cyrille4, Bony Sandrine5, Speich Sabrina6
Affiliation(s) 1 : Lab-STICC/PRASYS UMR 6285 CNRS, ENSTA Bretagne / HOP, Brest, France
2 : Université de Paris, Institut de physique du globe de Paris, CNRS, IGN, Paris, France
3 : ENSG-Géomatique, IGN, F-77455 Marne-la-Vallée, France
4 : LATMOS/IPSL, UMR 8190 CNRS, SU-UVSQ, Paris, France
5 : LMD/IPSL, UMR 8539 CNRS, Sorbonne Université, UPMC, Paris, France
6 : LMD/IPSL, UMR 8539 CNRS, ENS-Ecole Polytechnique-SU, Paris, France
Source Earth System Science Data (1866-3516) (Copernicus GmbH), 2021 , Vol. 13 , N. 4 , P. 1499–1517
DOI 10.5194/essd-2020-282
Note Special issue | Elucidating the role of clouds–circulation coupling in climate: datasets from the 2020 (EUREC4A) field campaign Editor(s): Helene Brogniez, Silke Gross, Sebastiaan Swart, Lisan Yu, Gijs de Boer, and David Carlson

In the framework of the EUREC4A (Elucidating the role of clouds-circulation coupling in climate) campaign that took place in January and February 2020, integrated water vapour (IWV) contents were retrieved over the open Tropical Atlantic Ocean using Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) data acquired from three research vessels (R/Vs): R/V Atalante, R/V Maria S. Merian, and R/V Meteor. This paper describes the GNSS processing method and compares the GNSS IWV retrievals with IWV estimates from the European Center for Medium-range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) fifth ReAnalysis (ERA5), from the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) infra-red products, and from terrestrial GNSS stations located along the tracks of the ships. The ship-borne GNSS IWVs retrievals from R/V Atalante and R/V Meteor compare well with ERA5, with small biases (−1.62 kg m−2 for R/V Atalante and +0.65 kg m−2 for R/V Meteor) and a root mean square (RMS) difference about 2.3 kg m−2. The results for the R/V Maria S. Merian are found to be of poorer quality, with RMS difference of 6 kg m−2 which are very likely due to the location of the GNSS antenna on this R/V prone to multipath effects. The comparisons with ground-based GNSS data confirm these results. The comparisons of all three R/V IWV retrievals with MODIS infra-red product show large RMS differences of 5–7 kg m−2, reflecting the enhanced uncertainties of this satellite product in the tropics. These ship-borne IWV retrievals are intended to be used for the description and understanding of meteorological phenomena that occurred during the campaign, east of Barbados, Guyana and northern Brazil. Both the raw GNSS measurements and the IWV estimates are available through the AERIS data center ( The digital object identifiers (DOIs) for R/V Atalante IWV and raw datasets are (Bosser et al., 2020a) and (Bosser et al., 2020d), respectively. The DOIs for the R/V Maria S. Merian IWV and raw datasets are (Bosser et al., 2020b) and (Bosser et al., 2020e), respectively. The DOIs for the R/V Meteor IWV and raw datasets are (Bosser et al., 2020c) and (Bosser et al., 2020f), respectively.

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