Temperature trends derived from Stratospheric Sounding Unit radiances: the effect of increasing CO2 on the weighting function
Shine, K. P., Barnett, J. J. and Randel, W. J. (2008) Temperature trends derived from Stratospheric Sounding Unit radiances: the effect of increasing CO2 on the weighting function. Geophysical Research Letters, 35 (2). L02710. ISSN 0094-8276
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2007GL032218
Stratospheric Sounding Units (SSU) on the NOAA operational satellites have been the main source of near global temperature trend data above the lower stratosphere. They have been used extensively for comparison with model-derived trends. The SSU senses in the 15 micron band of CO2 and hence the weighting function is sensitive to changes in CO2 concentrations. The impact of this change in weighting function has been ignored in all recent trend analyses. We show that the apparent trends in global mean brightness temperature due to the change in weighting function vary from about -0.4 K/decade to 0.4 K/decade depending on the altitude sensed by the different SSU channels. For some channels, this apparent trend is of a similar size to the trend deduced from SSU data but ignoring the change in weighting function. In the mid-stratosphere, the revised trends are now significantly more negative and in better agreement with model-calculated trends.