The column integrated atmospheric water balance over the ocean was examined using satellite-based and merged data sets for the period from 2000 to 2005. The data sets for the components of the atmospheric water balance include evaporation from the HOAPS, GSSTF, and OAFlux and precipitation from the HOAPS, CMAP, and GPCP. The water vapor tendency was derived from water vapor data of HOAPS. The product for water vapor flux convergence estimated using satellite observation data was used. The atmospheric balance components from the MERRA reanalysis data were also examined. Residuals of the atmospheric water balance equation were estimated using nine possible combinations of the data sets over the ocean between 60N and 60S. The results showed that there was considerable disagreement in the residual intensities and distributions from the different combinations of the data sets. In particular, the residuals in the estimations of the satellite-based atmospheric budget appear to be large over the oceanic areas with heavy precipitation such as the intertropical convergence zone, South Pacific convergence zone, and monsoon regions. The lack of closure of the atmospheric water cycle may be attributed to the uncertainties in the data sets and approximations in the atmospheric water balance equation. Meanwhile, the anomalies of the residuals from the nine combinations of the data sets are in good agreement with their variability patterns. These results suggest that significant consideration is needed when applying the data sets of water budget components to quantitative water budget studies, while climate variability analysis based on the residuals may produce similar results.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science