Examination of Humidity and Ice Supersaturation Profiles over West Antarctica Using Ground-Based G-Band Radiometer Retrievals

Maria P. Cadeddu, Domenico Cimini, Virendra Ghate, Dan Lubin, Andrew M. Vogelmann, Israel Silber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Humidity profiles retrieved from a ground-based millimeter-wave radiometer located at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, and the West Antarctica Ice Sheet Divide are presented, and their suitability to study the humidity of the polar climate is assessed. The dry conditions of the Antarctic winter and spring are ideal for ground-based millimeter-wave measurements, and the retrievals appear to realistically reproduce the spatial and temporal variabilities of humidity at both sites. The radiometer has the ability to capture the daily variability of very low humidity (0.5-4 g/kg) in the low-to-mid troposphere with an uncertainty of 10%-20% during the Antarctic winter, spring, and summer. Despite the coarse vertical resolution (200-600 m in the first 4 km), the retrievals provide additional information with respect to the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) profiles used as background information. The radiometer is also able to realistically identify the location and frequency of supersaturated layers with respect to ice in the mid troposphere. The occurrence of supersaturated layers is correlated with the occurrence of ice clouds identified by a cloud mask. Overall, results show that ground-based microwave and millimeter-wave radiometry is a viable complement to satellite observations to provide continuous information on the thermodynamic state of the low-to-mid troposphere at high latitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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