Revisiting radiosonde upper air temperatures from 1958 to 2002

Peter W. Thorne, David E. Parker, Simon F. B. Tett, Phil D. Jones, Mark McCarthy, Holly Coleman, Philip Brohan

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HadAT is a new analysis of the global upper air temperature record from 1958 to 2002 based upon radiosonde data alone. This analysis makes use of a greater number of stations than previous radiosonde analyses, combining a number of digital data sources. Neighbor buddy checks are applied to ensure that both spatial and temporal consistency are maintained. A framework of previously quality controlled stations is used to define the initial station network to minimize the effects of any pervasive biases in the raw data upon the adjustments. The analysis is subsequently expanded to consider all remaining available long-term records. The final data set consists of 676 radiosonde stations, with a bias toward continental Northern Hemisphere midlatitudes. Temperature anomaly time series are provided on 9 mandatory reporting pressure levels from 850 to 30 hPa. The effects of sampling and adjustment uncertainty are calculated at all scales from the station series to the global mean and from seasonal to multidecadal. These estimates are solely parametric uncertainty, given our methodological choices, and not structural uncertainty which relates to sensitivity to choice of approach. An initial analysis of HadAT does not fundamentally alter our understanding of long-term changes in upper air temperature changes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberD18
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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