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Project name:MULTICLIM - From CHAMP towards Multi-Satellite Climate Monitoring based on the METOP and COSMIC Missions
Project leader:Gottfried Kirchengast
Project team:Armin Leuprecht
Michael Pock
Marc Schwärz
Sponsor:FFG-ALR (Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft)



The overarching goal of the MULTICLIM project was to prepare for global monitoring of the climate evolution of the Earth’s upper troposphere/lower stratosphere region with high accuracy and consistency and thereby help to improve the ability to detect, attribute, and predict climate variability and change. The key datasets for this purpose are radio occultation (RO) data and Infrared Atmospheric Sounder Interferometer (IASI) data, of which the latter were in the focus of the MULTICLIM project.

One of the primary objectives of the IASI sensor on board the European MetOp satellites (the first satellite MetOp-A being in orbit since October 2006) is the improvement of the vertical resolution of temperature and water vapor profiles to about 1–2 km in the troposphere as well as to improve the retrieval accuracy to within 1 K in temperature and about 10% in humidity. A main scientific motivation for this is the key role played by water vapor in the upper troposphere and its effects on the global climate, since only small changes in humidity and its trends have serious implications on the amount of thermal energy escaping to space and thus on the strength of the Earth’s greenhouse effect. IASI is expected to supply more accurate quantification of climate variability and change, particularly contributing to our knowledge of the climate relevance of the upper troposphere. Additionally, the IASI data promise to greatly assist numerical weather prediction (NWP) in delivering accurate and frequent temperature and humidity profiles for operational and meteorological research needs.

Contributing in the framework of the joint ESA and EUMETSAT MetOp Research Announcement of Opportunity, the MULTICLIM project undertook to advance IASI retrieval algorithms and to prepare IASI climatology processing for climatologies at high horizontal resolution, but also with horizontal grids matching RO climatologies prepared in a separate project. Furthermore, retrieved temperature, humidity, and ozone profiles as well as sea surface temperature (SST) data from a “test orbit” of real MetOp IASI data were validated against co-located data from analysis fields of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

The project valuably contributed to the validation of IASI data during the MetOp-A satellite commissioning phase as well as paved the way to further advancement and broader application of the IASI retrieval system for climate studies.


Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr.rer.nat.

Gottfried Kirchengast

Phone:+43 316 380 - 8431

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