Initial Results of Radio Occultation Observations of Earth's Atmosphere Using the Global Positioning System

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Science  23 Feb 1996:
Vol. 271, Issue 5252, pp. 1107-1110
DOI: 10.1126/science.271.5252.1107


Recent radio occultation measurements using Global Positioning System satellite transmitters and an orbiting receiver have provided a globally distributed set of high-resolution atmospheric profiles, suggesting that the technique may make a significant contribution to global change and weather prediction programs. Biases in occultation temperatures relative to radiosonde and model data are about 1 kelvin or less in the tropics and are generally less than 0.5 kelvin at higher latitudes. Data quality is sufficient to quantify significant model errors in remote regions. Temperature profiles also reveal either an equatorial Rossby-gravity or an inertio-gravity wave. Such waves provide a fundamental source of momentum for the stratospheric circulation.

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