Water vapor variability in the Atacama Desert during the 20th century

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Title:Main Title: Water vapor variability in the Atacama Desert during the 20th century
Description:Abstract: This study focuses on integrated water vapor (IWV) which is the main source for precipitation, fog and dew formation in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. In order to study its long-term variability, a consistent meteorological record is needed. Here, we utilize the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts' reanalysis ERA-20C which provides IWV among other atmospheric variables over the course of the entire 20th century (1900–2010). In this two fold study, we first present a validation of ERA-20C IWV for the Atacama and the bordering southeast Pacific region. Comparisons to satellite observations, i.e. the Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite data record and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer measurements, for overlapping time periods prove the suitability of ERA-20C to study IWV variability. Assessment of the observation feedback in ERA-20C reveals a higher uncertainty for the beginning of the 20th century when fewer observations are assimilated. Nevertheless, departures of the assimilated observations do not show a systematic bias in space or time supporting suitability of ERA-20C for long-term investigations. In the second part of the study, we describe the IWV variability over the course of the 20th century. Deviations from the long-term mean greater than 30% are found on an inter-annual time scale over the continental Atacama. Furthermore, we investigate potential drivers of the IWV variability such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon. The relationship between the local IWV and these large scale indices depends on region and season. For instance, during austral summer, La Niña conditions yield overall greater IWV variability in the Atacama allowing both drier and even more pronounced wetter extremes than El Niño conditions.
Identifier:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2020.103192 (DOI)
Responsible Party
Creators:Christoph Böhm (Author), Mark Reyers (Author), Jan Schween (Author), Susanne Crewell (Author)
Funding Reference:Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG): CRC 1211: Earth - Evolution at the Dry Limit
Publication Year:2020
CRC1211 Topic:Climate
Related Subproject:A1
Subjects:Keywords: Integrated water vapor , Meteorology, Satellite remote sensing
Geogr. Information Topic:Climatology/Meteorology/Atmosphere
File Details
Data Type:Text - Article
File Size:8.2 MB
Dates:Accepted: 13.04.2020
Available: 22.04.2020
Mime Type:application/pdf
Data Format:PDF
Download Permission:Only Project Members
General Access and Use Conditions:According to the CRC1211DB data policy agreement.
Access Limitations:According to the CRC1211DB data policy agreement.
Licence:[Creative Commons] Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Specific Information - Publication
Publication Status:Published
Review Status:Peer reviewed
Publication Type:Article
Article Type:Journal
Source:Global and Planetary Change
Number of Pages:18 (1 - 18)
Metadata Details
Metadata Creator:Christoph Böhm
Metadata Created:20.01.2021
Metadata Last Updated:08.06.2021
Funding Phase:1
Metadata Language:English
Metadata Version:V50
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