Open Journal Systems

A study of temperature profiles and trends as revealed by COSMIC RO technique and balloon –borne radiosonde instrument

V. Naveen Kumar 1, M. Purnachandra Rao 2, G. Anil Kumar 3, K. Samatha 2, P. S. Brahmanandam 4

Article ID: 780
Vol 0, Issue 0, 2018, Article identifier:

VIEWS - 452 (Abstract) 258 (PDF)


This research presents atmospheric temperature profiles and trends retrieved using COSMIC RO technique and balloon-borne radiosonde instrument in 2007 and a few cases during 2017. By effectively using ‘wet’ temperature product available at COSMIC Data Analysis and Archive Center (CDAAC) website, an analysis has been made to present temperature profiles and trends at various regions including, Indian, Taiwan and Japan. A one-to-one correspondence is, clearly, seen between temperature profiles retrieved with COSMIC RO and radiosonde instrument. But, few and dominant differences in temperature profiles are found below at an altitude of ~5 km and above around tropopause (~16-17 km). The dominant differences found at below ~5km could be due to the inhomogeneous distribution of humidity present, generally, at the tropical regions, whereas above the tropopause altitudes, differences might be due to the ionospheric residual correction as reported by other researchers. Further, temperature monthly trends at various regions show distinct characteristics including, a sharp temperature inversion up to tropopause altitude. In addition, it is also observed maximum temperatures (peaks) during the northern summer seasons (May, June, July, and August) and minimum temperatures (troughs) during the northern winter seasons (November, December, January, and February) near to the surface of the Earth. Interestingly, although it is generally observed that the tropopause altitude is located at ~ 16-17 km at various regions, a keen observation reveals that distinct seasonal and latitudinal variations can be witnessed. With this case study, it may be concluded that the COSMIC RO technique is able to provide very accurate measurement, which reiterates its importance as a powerful tool to explore the Earth’s atmosphere on the local and global scale.


Temperature profiles; Tropopause; COSMIC RO technique; Radiosonde Instrument; Northern winter and summer seasons

Full Text:


Included Database


Xu G, Yue X, Zhang W, et al. Assessment of atmospheric wet profiles obtained from COSMIC radio occultation observations over China. Atmosphere 2017; 8(11): 208.

Folland CK, Thomas RK, Salinger MJ. Observed climate variability and change. Weather 2002; 57: 269-278.

Spencer RW, Christy JR. Precision and radiosonde validation of satellite grid point temperature anomalies, Part I: MSU channel 2. J. Climate 1992a; 5: 847–857.

Spencer RW, Christy JR. Precision and radiosonde validation of satellite grid point temperature anomalies, Part II: A tropospheric retrieval and trends during 1979-90. J. Climate 1992b; 5: 858–866.

Christy JR, Spencer RW, Lobl ES. Analysis of the merging procedure for the MSU daily temperature time series. J. Climate 1998; 5: 2016-2041.

Christy JR, Spencer RW, Braswell WD. MSU tropospheric temperatures: Dataset construction and radiosonde comparisons,Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 2000; 17: 1153-1170.

Christy JR, Spencer RW, William BN, et al. Error estimates of version 5.0 of MSU–AMSU bulk atmospheric temperatures. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 2003; 20: 613-629.

Fu Q, Johanson CM. Stratospheric influences on MSU-derived tropospheric temperature trends: A direct error analysis. J. Climate 2004; 17: 4636–4640.

Mears CA, Schabel MC, Wentz FJ. A reanalysis of the MSU channel 2 tropospheric temperature record. J. Climate 2003; 16: 3650–3664.

Vinnikov KY, Grody NC. Global warming trend of mean tropospheric temperature observed by satellites. Science 2003; 302: 269–272.

Vinnikov KY, Grody NC, A Robock, et al. Temperature trends at the surface and in the troposphere. Journal of Geophysical Research 2006; 111: 1-14(D03106).

Grody NC, Vinnikov KY, Goldberg MD, et al. Calibration of multi-satellite observations for climatic studies: Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU). Journal of Geophysical Research 2004; 109: 1-12(D24104).

Zou CZ, Goldberg MD, Cheng Z, et al. Recalibration of microwave sounding unit for climate studies using simultaneous nadir overpasses. Journal of Geophysical Research 2006; 111: (D19114).

Karl TR, Hassol SJ, Miller CD, et al. Temperature trends in the lower atmosphere: Steps for understanding and reconciling differences, U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research Synthesis and Assessment Product 1.1, 2006; 164 pp.

Kursinski ER, Hajj GA, Schofield JT, et al. Observing Earth’s atmosphere with radio occultation measurements using the Global Positioning System. Journal of Geophysical Research 1997; 102: 23429-23465.

Yunck TP, Liu CH, Ware R. A history of GPS sounding. Terrestrial, Atmospheric and Oceanic Science 2000; 11: 1-20.

Kuo YH, Wee TK, Sokolovskiy S, et al. Inversion and error estimation of GPS radio occultation data. Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan 2004; 1B: 507– 531.

Hajj GA, CO Ao, Iijima BA, et al. CHAMP and SAC-C atmospheric occultation results and intercomparisons. Journal of Geophysical Research 2004; 109: D06109.

Wickert J, Beyerle G, K¨onig, et al.GPS radio occultation with CHAMP and GRACE: A first look at a new and promising satellite configuration for global atmospheric sounding. Annales Geophysicae 2005; 23: 653–658.

Kuo YH, Schreiner WS, Wang J, et al. Comparison of GPS radio occultation soundings with radiosondes. Geophysical Research Letters 2005; 32: L05817.

Schrøder T, Leroy S, Stendel M, et al. Validating the microwave sounding unit stratospheric record using GPS occultation. Geophysical Research Letters 2003; 30(14): 1734(1-4).

Gavin AS, Drew TS, Ron LM, et al. General circulation modelling of Holocene climate variability. Quaternary Science Reviews 2004; 23: 2167–2181.

Gobiet UF, AK Steiner, M Borsche, et al. Climatological validation of stratospheric temperatures in ECMWF operational analyses with CHAMP radio occultation data. Geophysical Research Letters 2005; 32: L12806(1-5).

Mears CA, FJ Wentz. The effect of diurnal correction on satellite-derived lower tropospheric temperature. Science 2005; 309: 1548–1551.

Brahmanandam PS, YH Chu, J Liu. Observations of equatorial Kelvin wave modes in FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC GPS RO temperature profiles. Terrestrial, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences 2010; 21(5): 829–840.

Brahmanandam PS, YH Chu, KH Wu, et al. Vertical and longitudinal electron density structures of equatorial E- and F-regions. Annals of Geophysics 2011; 29: 81–89.

Brahmanandam PS, U Gouthu, JY Liu, et al. Global S4 index variations observed using FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC GPS RO technique during a solar minimum year. Journal of Geophysical Research 2012; 117: A09322.

Potula BS, YH Chu, Uma G, et al. A global comparative study on the ionospheric measurements between COSMIC radio occultation technique and IRI model. Journal of Geophysical Research 2011; 116: A02310.

Uma G, Brahmanandam PS, Chu YH. A long-term study on the deletion criterion of questionable electron density profiles caused by ionospheric irregularities – COSMIC radio occultation technique. Advances in Space Research 2016; 57: 2452-2463.

Ao C, Hajj GA, Meehan TK, et al. Rising and setting GPS occultations by use of open-loop tracking. Journal of Geophysical Research 2009; 114: D04101.

Rocken C, YH Kuo, W Schreiner, et al. COSMIC System Description, Special issue of Terrestrial, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences 2000; 11(1): 21-52.

Rieckh T, Scherllin-Pirscher B, Ladstädter F, et al. Characteristics of tropopause parameters as observed with GPS radio occultation. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 2014; 7: 3947–3958.

Holton JR, Haynes PH, McIntyre ME, et al. Stratosphere-troposphere exchange. Reviews of Geophysics 1995; 33(4): 403– 439.

Anil Kumar G, K Vijay Kumar, G Uma, et al. Global trends of tropopause observed from COSMIC radio occultation technique during 2007-2012. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research 2014; 5(6): 1318-1328.

Nick LY, Fong CJ, Chang GS. Approaching the first global radio occultation operational mission using. Constellation LEO Satellites, EUMETSAT Meteorological Satellite Conference, Sopot, Poland, 2012

Narayana Rao D, Ratnam MV, Mehta S, et al. Validation of the COS MIC radio occultation data over Gadanki (13.48°N, 79.2°E): A tropical region. Terrestrial, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences 2009, 20, pp. 59-70.

(452 Abstract Views, 258 PDF Downloads)


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Satellite Oceanography and Meteorology