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NASA Water Vapor Project MEaSUREs (NVAP-M) OCEAN Total Precipitable Water

NVAP_OCEAN_Total-Precipitable-Water data set includes only data from the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) and intends to mirror other available SSM/I-only water vapor data sets. The data set is used for studies of climate change, interannual variability, and independent comparison to other ocean-only data sets. The new NVAP data sets are produced under the NASA Making Earth Science Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) program and is named NVAP-M. It supersedes the previous NVAP data set. NVAP-M continues the legacy of providing high-quality, model-independent global estimates of total column and layered water vapor. The use of improved, intercalibrated data sets and algorithms that were not available for the heritage NVAP data set results in an improved and extended water vapor data set that is stable enough for climate research and of a resolution appropriate for studies on smaller spatial and temporal scales. The true value of NVAP-M will be seen in outcomes from applied and research users of the data set in various fields. Some initial NVAP-M findings are presented in Vonder Haar et al. (2012). In addition to the time-dependent artifacts present in the previous NVAP data set, a wealth of new data has become available since the last NVAP processing in 2003. These include an additional SSM/I instrument, additional NOAA satellites, the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS)-Aqua Satellite, which carries the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), as well as water vapor information from Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. This extension and reprocessing effort increases the temporal coverage from 14 to 22 (1988-2009) years, making the data set more useful and consistent for investigation of the long-term trends which are hypothesized to occur as Earth warms. In addition to the long-standing daily, 1-degree gridded Total Precipitable Water (TPW) and layered Precipitable Water (PW) products, NVAP-M includes additional products geared towards different scientific needs. Three separate processing streams produced products directed towards specific research goals. These are NVAP-M Climate, designed to provide the most stable water vapor data set over time for use in climate applications, and NVAP-M Weather, designed to provide higher spatial and temporal resolution products for use in studies on shorter time scales as well as weather case studies. Additionally, an ocean-only (NVAP-M Ocean) version includes only data from the SSM/I and is intended to mirror other available SSM/I-only water vapor data sets.

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