Variability of GPS water vapor associated with warming activity in Peninsular Malaysia during the period of 2008–2011

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

This study utilizes the precipitable water vapor (PWV) parameter retrieved from ground-based global positioning system (GPS) to detect warming activity in Peninsular Malaysia from 2008 to 2011. Daily average of GPS PWV and surface meteorology data taken from six selected stations over Peninsular Malaysia are analyzed. Prior to warming detection, GPS PWV results are compared with PWV obtained from Radiosonde and found a positive relationship. The daily GPS PWV variability was characterized as high during the inter-monsoon seasons (April-May and October-November) and lower at the beginning, middle and the end of the year. For the monthly variations, GPS PWV increased by about 2.40 mm, which is correlated with an increase in surface temperature of 0.20 °C. We detected variability of PWV with a semiannual variation and the pattern is opposite to the accumulated precipitation, indicating that wet and dry spells coincide with local monsoon and intermonsoon periods. The warming effect in this study was felt over all selected stations with northern parts of Peninsular Malaysia affected significantly. The results imply that GPS is a powerful tool for analysis of warming effects and the mechanism of how it affects the circulation of water vapor is discussed in this study.

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