LAPBIAT Upper Troposphere Lower Stratosphere Water Vapor Validation Project: LAUTLOS - WAVVAP

Updated 2003-06-16

The focus of this project is the improvement of water vapour measurement techniques in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Routine measurements of water vapour with high accuracy in these altitudes are an unsolved problem of meteorological measurements up to now. Water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas in the earth's atmosphere. Recent model calculations show that observed water vapour increases in the stratosphere contribute significantly both to surface warming and stratospheric cooling. In addition to climate change both the direct chemical and indirect radiative effects of stratospheric water changes in ozone chemistry are important as well. Despite of many activities in the past ten years, accuracies of the available methods for measuring the water vapour vertical profile in the free atmosphere are still not sufficient. Therefore one of the aims of the forthcoming EU COST Action 723 "The Role of the Upper Troposphere and Lower Stratosphere in Global change", is to improve sounding and remote sensing techniques of water vapour (see Another example of the planned work focusing on water vapour is proposed GEWEX (Global Energy an Water Cycle Experiment) Water Vapour Project (GVaP). See [SPARC 2000] and the references therein. The idea of LAUTLOS-WAVVAP comparison/validation experiment which brings together lightweight hygrometers developed in different research groups, which could be used as research-type radiosondes in UTLS region. These include the following instruments: Meteolabor Snow White hygrometer, NOAA frostpoint hygrometer, CAO Flash Lyman alpha hygrometer, Lindenberg FN sonde (a modification of Vaisala radiosonde) and the latest version of regular Vaisala radiosonde with humicap-polymer sensor. The experimental plan of LAUTLOS-WAVVAP is based on the regular launches of multi-sensor payloads from the Sodankylä meteorological balloon launch facility in January -February 2004. The aim is to study the effect of atmospheric conditions such as ambient temperature, water vapour or relative humidity, pressure or solar radiation for each participating hygrometer/radiosonde. Both night and daytime launches are planned. Apart from the intercomparison/validation experiment the campaign also have an scientific aim of studying the stratospheric PSC occurrence and their dependence on local temperature and the water vapour content. The campaign will be hosted by FMI Arctic Research Centre Sodankylä assisted by Vaisala Oyj and is a part of planned Finnish contribution to Cost 723 project. The campaign in Sodankylä is partly funded from LAPBIAT Facility, which belong to the EU program: Access to Research Infrastructures (see: References: SPARC Assessment of Upper Tropospheric and Stratospheric Water Vapor/SPARC Report No2/ December 2000

Time frame

Project time span
2003 - 2004
Data collection
2004 - 2004
Data processing
2004 -
Data reporting
2004 -

Contact information

Contact person
Ulrich Leiterer
Ulrich Leiterer German Weather Service, Meteorological Observatory Lindenberg, Germany
>ed.dwd@reretieL.hcirlU< hcirlU reretieL
Other project contacts
-Central Aerological Observatory Moscow, Russia -Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research Potsdam, Germany -Meteolabor AG, Switzerland -Vaisala Oyj, Helsinki, Finland -Arctic Research Centre (FMI/ARC), Sodankylä, Finland -University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Climate change effects
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Additional information or further specification of types of data / information collected, species / tissues / organs sampled, etc.

water vapor profiles of atmosphere from surface to lower stratosphere


Regions studied
Climate change effects
Climate change effects
Climate change effects
Stations or areas where observations are made

Sodankyla, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Arctic Research Centre (FMI-ARC)

Data availability

Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Not specified

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Other institutes involved in the project

-Central Aerological Observatory Moscow, Russia -Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research Potsdam, Germany -Meteolabor AG, Switzerland -Vaisala Oyj, Helsinki, Finland -Arctic Research Centre (FMI/ARC), Sodankylä, Finland -University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

Is this project reporting to other organizations/programmes?

COST Action 723

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