Validation of climate models using European ground-based GNSS observations
Conference contribution, 2009
We summarize an ongoing research project where we assess the quality of time series of the Integrated Water Vapour in the atmosphere estimated from ground-based GNSS data for the application of validating and possibly improving climate models. The focus is on the factors limiting the accuracy and especially the long-term stability of the GNSS technique.Higher order ionospheric corrections have been studied, using realistic values for the Total Electron Content (TEC) close to the solar maximum in 2002. Averaged over ten days we find that the impact in the mean IWV is less than 0.1 kg/m^2. Another factor is the model used for antenna phase centre variations. We have studied this effect on the IWV estimates by simulations and by studying estimates of the IWV based on observed GPS signals. We find that ignoring satellite antenna phase variations, when processing GPS data from 2003-2008, can significantly influence the values of the estimated linear trends. The value depends on the latitude of the site as well as on the elevation cut-off angle used in the data analysis. Finally, we show a significant correlation between estimated linear trends in the IWV and the corresponding linear trends in the independently observed ground temperature.