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Radiosonde humidity data for the troposphere were used sparingly in AR4, noting a renewed appreciation for biases with the operational radiosonde data that had been highlighted by several major field campaigns and intercomparisons. Since AR4 there have been three distinct efforts to homogenize the tropospheric humidity records from operational radiosonde measurements (Durre et al., 2009; McCarthy et al., 2009; Dai et al., 2011) (Supplementary Material 2.SM.6.1, Table 2.SM.9). Over the common period of record from 1973 onwards, the resulting estimates are in substantive agreement regarding specific Radiosonde humidity data for the troposphere were used sparingly in AR4, noting a renewed appreciation for biases with the operational radiosonde data that had been highlighted by several major field campaigns and intercomparisons. Since AR4 there have been three distinct efforts to homogenize the tropospheric humidity records from operational radiosonde measurements (Durre et al., 2009; McCarthy et al., 2009; Dai et al., 2011) (Supplementary Material 2.SM.6.1, Table 2.SM.9). Over the common period of record from 1973 onwards, the resulting estimates are in substantive agreement regarding specific humidity trends at the largest geographical scales. On average, the impact of the correction procedures is to remove an artificial temporal trend towards drying in the raw data and indicate a positive trend in free tropospheric specific humidity over the period of record. In each analysis, the rate of increase in the free troposphere is concluded to be largely consistent with that expected from the Clausius–Clapeyron relation (about 7% per degree Celsius). There is no evidence for a significant change in free tropospheric relative humidity, although a decrease in relative humidity at lower levels is observed (Section 2.5.5). Indeed, McCarthy et al. (2009) show close agreement between their radiosonde product at the lowest levels and HadCRUH (Willett et al., 2008).

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