Atmospheric changes through 2012 as shown by iteratively homogenized radiosonde temperature and wind data (IUKv2)
We present an updated version of the radiosonde dataset homogenized by Iterative Universal Kriging (IUKv2), now extended through February 2013, following the method used in the original version (Sherwood et al 2008 Robust tropospheric warming revealed by iteratively homogenized radiosonde data J. Clim. 21 5336-52). This method, in effect, performs a multiple linear regression of the data onto a structural model that includes both natural variability, trends, and time-changing instrument biases, thereby avoiding estimation biases inherent in traditional homogenization methods. One modification now enables homogenized winds to be provided for the first time. This, and several other small modifications made to the original method sometimes affect results at individual stations, but do not strongly affect broad-scale temperature trends. Temperature trends in the updated data show three noteworthy features. First, tropical warming is equally strong over both the 1959-2012 and 1979-2012 periods, increasing smoothly and almost moist-adiabatically from the surface (where it is roughly 0.14 K/decade) to 300 hPa (where it is about 0.25 K/decade over both periods), a pattern very close to that in climate model predictions. This contradicts suggestions that atmospheric warming has slowed in recent decades or that it has not kept up with that at the surface. Second, as shown in previous studies, tropospheric warming does not reach quite as high in the tropics and subtropics as predicted in typical models. Third, cooling has slackened in the stratosphere such that linear trends since 1979 are about half as strong as reported earlier for shorter periods. Wind trends over the period 1979-2012 confirm a strengthening, lifting and poleward shift of both subtropical westerly jets; the Northern one shows more displacement and the southern more intensification, but these details appear sensitive to the time period analysed. There is also a trend toward more easterly winds in the middle and upper troposphere of the deep tropics.