Time-to-detect trends in precipitable water vapor with varying measurement error

Jacola Roman, Robert Knuteson, Steve Ackerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study determined the theoretical time-to-detect (TTD) global climate model (GCM) precipitable water vapor (PWV) 100-yr trends when realisticmeasurement errors are considered.Global trends ranged from 0.055 to 0.072mmyr-1 and varied minimally from season to season. Global TTDs with a 0% measurement error ranged from3.0 to 4.8 yr,while a 5%measurement error increased the TTDby almost 6 times, ranging from17.6 to 22.0 yr. Zonal trends were highest near the equator however, zonal TTDs were nearly independent of latitude when 5% measurement error was included. Zonal TTDs are significantly reduced when the trends are analyzed by season.Regional trends (15° × 30°) show TTDs close to those in the 158 latitude zones (15° × 360°). Detailed case study analysis of four selected regions with high population density-eastern United States, Europe, China, and India-indicated that trend analysis on regional spatial scales may provide the most timely information regarding highly populated regions when comparing detection time scales to global and zonal analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8259-8275
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number21
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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