Improved stratospheric aerosol extinction profiles from SCIAMACHY: validation and sample results
Abstract. Stratospheric aerosol extinction profiles have been retrieved from SCIAMACHY/Envisat measurements of limb-scattered solar radiation. The retrieval is an improved version of an algorithm presented earlier. The retrieved aerosol extinction profiles are compared to co-located aerosol profile measurements from the SAGE II solar occultation instrument at a wavelength of 525 nm. Comparisons were carried out with two versions of the SAGE II data set (version 6.2 and the new version 7.0). In a global average sense the SCIAMACHY and the SAGE II version 7.0 extinction profiles agree to within about 10 % for altitudes above 15 km. Larger relative differences (up to 40 %) are observed at specific latitudes and altitudes. We also find differences between the two SAGE II data versions of up to 40 % for specific latitudes and altitudes, consistent with earlier reports. Sample results on the latitudinal and temporal variability of stratospheric aerosol extinction and optical depth during the SCIAMACHY mission period are presented. The results confirm earlier reports that a series of volcanic eruptions is responsible for the increase in stratospheric aerosol optical depth from 2002 to 2012. Above about an altitude of 28 km, volcanic eruptions are found to have negligible impact in the period 2002–2012.