Science Update: Characterizing sampling biases in the trace gas climatologies of the SPARC Data Initiative

As part of the SPARC Data Initiative, M. Toohey and co-authors investigate the instrument biases relating to non-uniform sampling of the atmosphere in a new JGR article. Potential sampling bias in the stratospheric climatologies of ozone and water vapour are characterised using a chemistry-climate model. For ozone, monthly sampling bias exceeds 10% for many instruments in the high latitudes as well as in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere (UTLS). Sampling biases for water vapour were generally smaller, but still important in the UTLS and the Southern Hemisphere high latitudes. Non-uniform temporal sampling was found to be the most important mechanism leading to both monthly and annual sampling bias. Similarly, non-uniform spatial sampling was found to be relevant, particularly for those climatologies that were otherwise free of biases due to non-uniform temporal sampling. The full abstract can be found here.