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HadISDH: An updated land surface specific humidity product for climate monitoring.

Willett, K M*; Williams, C N*; Dunn, R J H*; Thorne, P W*; Bell, S A; de Podesta, M; Jones, P D*; Parker, D E* (2013) HadISDH: An updated land surface specific humidity product for climate monitoring. Climate of the Past, 9 (2). pp. 657-677.

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There is a growing need for up to date quantification of changes in humidity over the surface of the globe. Here we present HadISDH: an annually updated near-global land surface specific humidity product providing monthly means from 1973 onwards over large scale grids. HadISDH is an update to the earlier HadCRUH but now utilises the global high resolution land surface product HadISD as a basis which in turn uses an updated version of NOAA's Integrated Surface Database. It has undergone intensive automated quality control at the synoptic level, as part of HadISD processing, and subsequently been run through the pairwise homogenisation algorithm developed for NCDC's GHCN Monthly temperature product. Uncertainty estimates including station uncertainty and sampling error are provided at the gridbox scale.

The new HadISDH is in good agreement with existing surface humidity products suggesting that it is a useful resource for monitoring land surface humidity. It shows widespread moistening over the 1973-2011 period with the largest signals over the tropics and drying over the dryer subtropics, supporting other evidence of an intensified hydrological cycle over recent years. Moistening is detectable with high confidence over large scale averages for the globe, Northern Hemisphere and tropics with decadal trends of 0.095 (0.085 to 0.104) g/kg per decade, 0.093 (0.082 to 0.104) g/kg per decade and 0.142 (0.127 to 0.156) g/kg per decade respectively. Globally, the atmosphere over the land surface has sustained above average specific humidity since 1997.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Land surface humidity, meteorology, HadISDH, HadCRUH, homogenisation
Subjects: Engineering Measurements
Engineering Measurements > Thermal
Identification number/DOI: 10.5194/cp-9-657-2013
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 13:14
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/5807

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