|The paper reports on the long term comparison of stratospheric and mesospheric temperature profiles measured by lidar at Haute Provence Observatory with nearby temperature profiles retrieved by the SABER and MLS satellite instruments. The authors find systematic altitude and season dependent differences of the order of a few Kelvin, which can be reduced by 2 to 4 K, when obvious altitude shifts in the satellite temperature profiles are corrected for. After correction, systematic lidar - SABER temperature differences are reduced to less than +-2 K, systematic lidar - MLS temperature differences to about 4.5 K with a +-1 K vertical oscillation. I think this is an important and very comprehensive long-term comparison of key data sets for the analysis of stratospheric and mesospheric temperature variations and trends.|
In this revised version the authors have addressed nearly all comments from the reviewers in a satisfactory way. In particular, they have extended the underlying time series by 6 years, whithout major changes in the results.
There are a few larger issues, that I think should still be addressed. The line numbers in my comments below refer to the change-tracked version of the revised manuscript.
At the end of the paper (Fig.~14, Section 7 end, or Section 8), I am missing more comparison of the current results with the results from previous studies, which are discussed at length in Section 1.2. So I am wondering how the new results fit into scientific context, especially for altitudes lower than the 70 km discussed around line 387. Ideally there would be another Figure like Fig. 14, which shows comparable difference profiles from previous studies. At the least there should be more discussion than in the current text. Right now, the reader is left wondering where the remaining differences between 30 and 70 km might come from, and how consistent they are with other studies.
I am also missing a (brief) discussion of the satellite averaging kernels (which seem to wider for MLS than for SABER), and how they might affect results. e.g. by reducing temperature peaks and valleys, compared to the (presumably) higher vertical resolution lidar profiles. I think the authors need to add some thoughts about that, and add some corresponding material.
Overall, I find the manuscript lengthy and wordy. I think a thorough read-through with editing for more conciseness and removal of repetitions would be very beneficial.
line 15: replace "the vertical artifacts" by "apparent vertical oscillations"
lines 46 to 77: I think the 2nd and 3rd point are really the same. Lidars measure range and altitude very precisely, unlike the satellite retrieval. I think this could be shortened substantially.
line 394: incorrect altitude is certainly not the only thing that can go wrong. So maybe replace "incorrect altitudes in" by "biases or errors of"?
lines 396/7: Replace "seasonal variability" by "seasonally varying bias"? It seems to me that the latter is really meant here.