Skip to Main Content
The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program maintains a suite of instruments in various locations to provide continuous monitoring of atmospheric parameters. Temperature and humidity retrievals are two of the key parameters used by the climate-modeling community. Accuracy in the spectroscopy adopted by the various radiative transfer models is crucial for obtaining accurate retrievals. While the accuracy of the spectroscopic parameters used for water-vapor retrievals is satisfactory, temperature retrievals continue to be affected by uncertainties in oxygen line parameters leading to discrepancies between the modeled and observed brightness temperatures. In this paper, we compare the model calculations in the oxygen-band channels with the measurements collected by the ARM-operated 12-channel Microwave Radiometer Profiler (MWRP). The dataset used spans a wide range of atmospheric temperature conditions, with ground temperatures varying between -40degC and +20degC. Model calculations are performed by using line parameters from the high-resolution transmission molecular-absorption (HITRAN) database and from a set of newly published parameters. Our comparison shows that the newly published parameters agree more closely with the MWRP measurements and confirms the need to update the HITRAN database for the oxygen lines. We show the effect of line parameters on the retrievals of temperature, water vapor, and liquid water, and show that improved oxygen absorption is essential to reduce the clear-sky bias in the liquid-water path retrievals.