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Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
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    A case study of a sporadic sodium layer observed by the ALOMAR Weber Na lidar
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2008) Nesse, H.; Heinrich, D.; Williams, B.; Hoppe, U.-P.; Stadsnes, J.; Rietveld, M.; Singer, W.; Blum, U.; Sandanger, M.I.; Trondsen, E.
    Simultaneous measurements of temperature and polar mesosphere summer echoes (PMSE) were performed at the polar cap (78° N) during summer 2001 and 2003. In summer time the mesopause region is characterized by extremely low temperatures around 120 K. It is remarkable that PMSE are practically never observed above 92 km although temperatures are low enough to allow the existence of ice particles. In this case study we compare the PMSE topside with temperatures measured by the potassium lidar and with frost point temperatures using water-vapor mixing ratios from models. We find striking discrepancies with our current understanding of ice particles and temperature in this region. In this case study we find that the temperature can be more than 20 K lower than the frost point temperature but no PMSE is observed above 92 km altitude. We show that the lack of PMSE does not necessarily imply that the temperature is too high.
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    Influence of tides and gravity waves on layering processes in the polar summer mesopause region
    (Göttingen : Copernicus, 2008) Hoffmann, P.; Rapp, M.; Fiedler, J.; Latteck, R.
    Polar Mesosphere Summer Echoes (PMSE) have been studied at Andenes (69° N, 16° E), Norway, using VHF radar observations since 1994. One remarkable feature of these observations is the fact that {during 50% of the time,} the radar echoes occur in the form of two or more distinct layers. In the case of multiple PMSE layers, statistical analysis shows that the lower layer occurs at a mean height of ∼83.4 km, which is almost identical to the mean height of noctilucent clouds (NLC) derived from observation with the ALOMAR Rayleigh/Mie/Raman lidar at the same site. To investigate the layering processes microphysical model simulations under the influence of tidal and gravity waves were performed. In the presence of long period gravity waves, these model investigations predict an enhanced formation of multiple PMSE layer structures, where the lower layer is a consequence of the occurrence of the largest particles at the bottom of the ice cloud. This explains the coincidence of the lowermost PMSE layers and NLC. During periods with enhanced amplitudes of the semidiurnal tide, the observed NLC and PMSE show pronounced tidal structures comparable to the results of corresponding microphysical simulations. At periods with short period gravity waves there is a tendency for a decreasing occurrence of NLC and for variable weak PMSE structures.
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    Large mesospheric ice particles at exceptionally high altitudes
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2009) Megner, L.; Khaplanov, M.; Baumgarten, G.; Gumbel, J.; Stegman, J.; Strelnikov, B.; Robertson, S.
    We here report on the characteristics of exceptionally high Noctilucent clouds (NLC) that were detected with rocket photometers during the ECOMA/MASS campaign at Andøya, Norway 2007. The results from three separate flights are shown and discussed in connection to lidar measurements. Both the lidar measurements and the large difference between various rocket passages through the NLC show that the cloud layer was inhomogeneous on large scales. Two passages showed a particularly high, bright and vertically extended cloud, reaching to approximately 88 km. Long time series of lidar measurements show that NLC this high are very rare, only one NLC measurement out of thousand reaches above 87 km. The NLC is found to consist of three distinct layers. All three were bright enough to allow for particle size retrieval by phase function analysis, even though the lowest layer proved too horizontally inhomogeneous to obtain a trustworthy result. Large particles, corresponding to an effective radius of 50 nm, were observed both in the middle and top of the NLC. The present cloud does not comply with the conventional picture that NLC ice particles nucleate near the temperature minimum and grow to larger sizes as they sediment to lower altitudes. Strong up-welling, likely caused by gravity wave activity, is required to explain its characteristics.
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    Long-term lidar observations of polar stratospheric clouds at Esrange in northern Sweden
    (Milton Park : Taylor & Francis, 2005) Blum, U.; Fricke, K.H.; Müller, K.P.; Siebert, J.; Baumgarten, G.
    Polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) play a key role in the depletion of polar ozone. The type of cloud and the length of time for which it exists are crucial for the amount of chlorine activation during the polar night. The Bonn University backscatter lidar at Esrange in northern Sweden (68◦N, 21◦E) is well equipped for long-term observation and classification of these clouds. Nearly continuous measurements through several winters are rare, in particular in wave-active regions like Esrange. Lidar measurements have been performed each winter since 1997—a total of more than 2000 h of observation time has been accumulated, including more than 300 h with PSCs. Analysis of this unique data set leads to a classification scheme with four different scattering characteristics which can be associated with four different cloud types: (1) supercooled ternary solution (STS), (2) nitric acid trihydrate (NAT), (3) ice and (4) mixtures of solid and liquid particles. The analysis of observations over seven winters gives an overview of the frequency of appearance of the individual PSC types. Most of the clouds contain layers of different PSC types. The analysis of these layers shows STS and mixed clouds to occur most frequently, with more than 39% and 37% of all PSC observations, respectively, whereas NAT (15%) and ice clouds (9%) are seen only rarely. The lidar is located close to the Scandinavian mountain ridge, which is a major source of orographically induced gravity waves that can rapidly cool the atmosphere below cloud formation temperatures. Comparing the individual existence temperature of the observed cloud type with the synoptic-scale temperature provided by the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) gives information on the frequency of synoptically and wave-induced PSCs. Further, the analysis of ECMWF temperature and wind data gives an estimate of the transparency of the atmosphere to stationary gravity waves. During more than 80% of all PSC observations in synoptic-scale temperatures which were too warm the atmosphere was transparent for stationary gravity waves. Our measurements show that dynamically induced cooling is crucial for the existence of PSCs above Esrange. In particular ice PSCs are observed only in situations where there are gravity waves.
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    The noctilucent cloud (NLC) display during the ECOMA/MASS sounding rocket flights on 3 August 2007: Morphology on global to local scales
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2009) Baumgarten, G.; Fiedler, J.; Fricke, K.H.; Gerding, M.; Hervig, M.; Hoffmann, P.; Müller, N.; Pautet, P.-D.; Rapp, M.; Robert, C.; Rusch, D.; von Savigny, C.; Singer, W.
    During the ECOMA/MASS rocket campaign large scale NLC/PMC was observed by satellite, lidar and camera from polar to mid latitudes. We examine the observations from different instruments to investigate the morphology of the cloud. Satellite observations show a planetary wave 2 structure. Lidar observations from Kühlungsborn (54° N), Esrange (68° N) and ALOMAR (69° N) show a highly dynamic NLC layer. Under favorable solar illumination the cloud is also observable by ground-based cameras. The cloud was detected by cameras from Trondheim (63° N), Juliusruh (55° N) and Kühlungsborn. We investigate planetary scale morphology and local scale gravity wave structures, important for the interpretation of the small scale rocket soundings. We compare in detail the lidar observations with the NLC structure observed by the camera in Trondheim. The ALOMAR RMR-lidar observed only a faint NLC during the ECOMA launch window, while the camera in Trondheim showed a strong NLC display in the direction of ALOMAR. Using the high resolution camera observations (t~30 s, Δx<5 km) and the wind information from the meteor radar at ALOMAR we investigate the formation and destruction of NLC structures. We observe that the NLC brightness is reduced by a factor of 20–40 within 100 s which can be caused by a temperature about 15 K above the frostpoint temperature. A horizontal temperature gradient of more than 3 K/km is estimated.
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    Study of the tidal variations in mesospheric temperature at low and mid latitudes from WINDII and potassium lidar observations
    (Göttingen : Copernicus GmbH, 2004) Shepherd, M.; Fricke-Begemann, C.
    Zonal mean daytime temperatures from the Wind Imaging Interferometer (WINDII) on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) and nightly temperatures from a potassium (K) lidar are employed in the study of the tidal variations in mesospheric temperature at low and mid latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. The analysis is applied to observations at 89 km height for winter solstice, December to February (DJF), at 55° N, and for May and November at 28° N. The WINDII results are based on observations from 1991 to 1997. The K-lidar observations for DJF at Kühlungsborn (54° N) were from 1996-1999, while those for May and November at Tenerife 28° N were from 1999. To avoid possible effects from year-to-year variability in the temperatures observed, as well as differences due to instrument calibration and observation periods, the mean temperature field is removed from the respective data sets, assuming that only tidal and planetary scale perturbations remain in the temperature residuals. The latter are then binned in 0.5 h periods and the individual data sets are fitted in a least-mean square sense to 12-h and 8-h harmonics, to infer semidiurnal and terdiurnal tidal parameters. Both the K-lidar and WINDII independently observed a strong semidiurnal tide in November, with amplitudes of 13 K and 7.4 K, respectively. Good agreement was also found in the tidal parameters derived from the two data sets for DJF and May. It was recognized that insufficient local time coverage of the two separate data sets could lead to an overestimation of the semidiurnal tidal amplitude. A combined ground-based/satellite data set with full diurnal local time coverage was created which was fitted to 24 h+ 12 h+8 h harmonics and a novel method applied to account for possible differences between the daytime and nighttime means. The results still yielded a strong semidiurnal tide in November at 28° N with an amplitude of 8.8 K which is twice the SD amplitude in May and DJF. The diurnal tidal parameters were practically the same at 28° N and 55° N, in November and DJF, respectively, with an amplitude of 6.5 K and peaking at ∼9h. The diurnal and semidiurnal amplitudes in May were about the same, 4 K, and 4.6 K, while the terdiurnal tide had the same amplitudes and phases in May and November at 28° N. Good agreement is found with other experimental data while models tend to underestimate the amplitudes.
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    Seasonal variation of nocturnal temperatures between 1 and 105 km altitude at 54° N observed by lidar
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2008) Gerding, M.; Höffner, J.; Lautenbach, J.; Rauthe, M.; Lübken, F.-J.
    Temperature soundings are performed by lidar at the mid-latitude station of Kühlungsborn (Germany, 54° N, 12° E). The profiles cover the complete range from the lower troposphere (~1 km) to the lower thermosphere (~105 km) by simultaneous and co-located operation of a Rayleigh-Mie-Raman lidar and a potassium resonance lidar. Observations have been done during 266 nights between June 2002 and July 2007, each of 3–15 h length. This large and unique data set provides comprehensive information on the altitudinal and seasonal variation of temperatures from the troposphere to the lower thermosphere. The remaining day-to-day-variability is strongly reduced by harmonic fits at constant altitude levels and a representative data set is achieved. This data set reveals a two-level mesopause structure with an altitude of about 86–87 km (~144 K) in summer and ~102 km (~170 K) during the rest of the year. The average stratopause altitude is ~48 km throughout the whole year, with temperatures varying between 258 and 276 K. From the fit parameters amplitudes and phases of annual, semi-annual, and quarter-annual variations are derived. The amplitude of the annual component is largest with amplitudes of up to 30 K in 85 km, while the quarter-annual variation is smallest and less than 3 K at all altitudes. The lidar data set is compared with ECMWF temperatures below about 70 km altitude and reference data from the NRLMSISE-00 model above. Apart from the temperature soundings the aerosol backscatter ratio is measured between 20 and 35 km. The seasonal variation of these values is presented here for the first time.
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    Validation of the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) version 2.2 temperature using ground-based and space-borne measurements
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2008) Sica, R.J.; Izawa, M.R.M.; Walker, K.A.; Boone, C.; Petelina, S.V.; Argall, P.S.; Bernath, P.; Burns, G.B.; Catoire, V.; Collins, R.L.; Daffer, W.H.; De Clercq, C.; Fan, Z.Y.; Firanski, B.J.; French, W.J.R.; Gerard, P.; Gerding, M.; Granville, J.; Innis, J.L.; Keckhut, P.; Kerzenmacher, T.; Klekociuk, A.R.; Kyrö, E.; Lambert, J.C.; Llewellyn, E.J.; Manney, G.L.; McDermid, I.S.; Mizutani, K.; Murayama, Y.; Piccolo, C.; Raspollini, P.; Ridolfi, M.; Robert, C.; Steinbrecht, W.; Strawbridge, K.B.; Strong, K.; Stübi, R.; Thurairajah, B.
    An ensemble of space-borne and ground-based instruments has been used to evaluate the quality of the version 2.2 temperature retrievals from the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS). The agreement of ACE-FTS temperatures with other sensors is typically better than 2 K in the stratosphere and upper troposphere and 5 K in the lower mesosphere. There is evidence of a systematic high bias (roughly 3–6 K) in the ACE-FTS temperatures in the mesosphere, and a possible systematic low bias (roughly 2 K) in ACE-FTS temperatures near 23 km. Some ACE-FTS temperature profiles exhibit unphysical oscillations, a problem fixed in preliminary comparisons with temperatures derived using the next version of the ACE-FTS retrieval software. Though these relatively large oscillations in temperature can be on the order of 10 K in the mesosphere, retrieved volume mixing ratio profiles typically vary by less than a percent or so. Statistical comparisons suggest these oscillations occur in about 10% of the retrieved profiles. Analysis from a set of coincident lidar measurements suggests that the random error in ACE-FTS version 2.2 temperatures has a lower limit of about ±2 K.
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    Polar middle atmosphere temperature climatology from Rayleigh lidar measurements at ALOMAR (69° N)
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2008) Schöch, A.; Baumgarten, G.; Fiedler, J.
    Rayleigh lidar temperature profiles have been derived in the polar middle atmosphere from 834 measurements with the ALOMAR Rayleigh/Mie/Raman lidar (69.3° N, 16.0° E) in the years 1997–2005. Since our instrument is able to operate under full daylight conditions, the unique data set presented here extends over the entire year and covers the altitude region 30 km–85 km in winter and 30 km–65 km in summer. Comparisons of our lidar data set to reference atmospheres and ECMWF analyses show agreement within a few Kelvin in summer but in winter higher temperatures below 55 km and lower temperatures above by as much as 25 K, due likely to superior resolution of stratospheric warming and associated mesospheric cooling events. We also present a temperature climatology for the entire lower and middle atmosphere at 69° N obtained from a combination of lidar measurements, falling sphere measurements and ECMWF analyses. Day to day temperature variability in the lidar data is found to be largest in winter and smallest in summer.
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    Simultaneous lidar observations of a polar stratospheric cloud on the east and west sides of the Scandinavian mountains and microphysical box model simulations
    (München : European Geopyhsical Union, 2006) Blum, U.; Khosrawi, F.; Baumgarten, G.; Stebel, K.; Müller, R.; Fricke, K.H.
    The importance of polar stratospheric clouds (PSC) for polar ozone depletion is well established. Lidar experiments are well suited to observe and classify polar stratospheric clouds. On 5 January 2005 a PSC was observed simultaneously on the east and west sides of the Scandinavian mountains by ground-based lidars. This cloud was composed of liquid particles with a mixture of solid particles in the upper part of the cloud. Multi-colour measurements revealed that the liquid particles had a mode radius of r≈300 nm, a distribution width of σ≈1.04 and an altitude dependent number density of N≈2–20 cm−3. Simulations with a microphysical box model show that the cloud had formed about 20 h before observation. High HNO3 concentrations in the PSC of 40–50 weight percent were simulated in the altitude regions where the liquid particles were observed, while this concentration was reduced to about 10 weight percent in that part of the cloud where a mixture between solid and liquid particles was observed by the lidar. The model simulations also revealed a very narrow particle size distribution with values similar to the lidar observations. Below and above the cloud almost no HNO3 uptake was simulated. Although the PSC shows distinct wave signatures, no gravity wave activity was observed in the temperature profiles measured by the lidars and meteorological analyses support this observation. The observed cloud must have formed in a wave field above Iceland about 20 h prior to the measurements and the cloud wave pattern was advected by the background wind to Scandinavia. In this wave field above Iceland temperatures potentially dropped below the ice formation temperature, so that ice clouds may have formed which can act as condensation nuclei for the nitric acid trihydrate (NAT) particles observed at the cloud top above Esrange.