Status of high spectral resolution IR for advancing atmospheric state characterization and climate trend benchmarking: A period of both opportunity realized and squandered
Advanced capability for sounding the atmospheric state and for quantifying climate trends using IR spectrometers has made enormous strides in recent years. While substantial societal benefits have accrued from research and operational advanced sounders in polar orbit, many of the expected benefits from this new capability are being squandered. As presented in our 1RS Union talk, capabilities for (1) advanced geostationary sounding for substantially improving severe weather warnings, (2) ground-based networks for continuous boundary layer monitoring, and (3) technological advances for acquiring high information content climate benchmark observations and for inter-calibrating other IR spacecraft instruments have not been realized (two have been delayed indefinitely). Fortunately, there are viable options for moving forward, which we identify in this review.