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Latent heat flux at the sea surface retrieved from combined TMI and VIRS measurements of TRMM

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Two radiometers of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) were used to retrieve parameters that were necessary to determine the latent heat flux density at the sea surface. The Visible and Infrared Radiometer System (VIRS) was used to measure sea surface temperature. The TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI) measured near-surface wind speed and air-specific humidity. The retrieval schemes for these parameters were derived theoretically by means of radiative transfer simulations and were validated by TRMM data matched with buoy measurements. The validation study revealed deficiencies in the description of the infrared water vapour absorption continuum and in the TMI calibration. Both effects were corrected for so that the desired parameters could be retrieved with adequate accuracy. A global application of the retrieval method to TRMM data for April 1998 is shown.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Meteorologisches Institut, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitä

Publication date: 10 July 2001

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