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Climate Variability & Change

The purpose of retrospective-analysis (reanalysis) is to provide a systematic description of the climate system as close to real as possible. The observation keeps the assimilation output near to real world, while model provides a comprehensive description of the system. Unfortunately, because of historical changes in observing system, inhomogeneities commonly present in reanalyses data sets. It is a particularly compelling problem for researches on long-term climate change. The objectives of this project are 1) minimizing the inhomogeneities in a new NASA reanalysis data set, the Modern Era Retrospective-analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA), and provide reanalysis users a homogenized data record that can be used to better understand climate trends and define the uncertainties in reanalyses, and to 2) advancing the understanding of climate change trend key questions that were previously not settled because of the lack of a high quality homogenized reanalysis data set. We aim to minimize the discontinuities in MERRA by augmenting the MERRA data with reanalysis segments when observing system changes take place. Each of these reanalysis segments will be similar to corresponding original MERRA, except that the new observation introduced at that time is excluded. By comparing these segments with original MERRA, impacts of the observing system changes will be identified and patches to minimize the impacts will be produced. Based on the homogenized MERRA data, analysis and modeling study will be performed to address the key question of the climate change trend: how the water and energy cycle integrates the atmospheric and oceanic components of the climate system in the climate change trend of recent decades? Our proposal addresses 4 of 5 MAP Core Research Key Questions, two of them are NASA Science Big Questions: How is the Earth system changing? How does the Earth system respond to natural and human-induced changes?

Project PI: Junye Chen/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Phone: 301-614-6173

Email: Junye.Chen-1@nasa.gov

http://gmao.gsfc.nasa.gov/

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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Mar 17, 2011

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