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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  26 Oct 2020

26 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Residual Temperature Bias Effects in LIMS Stratospheric Ozone and Water Vapor

Ellis Remsberg1, V. Lynn Harvey2, Arlin Krueger3, and Murali Natarajan1 Ellis Remsberg et al.
  • 1Science Directorate, NASA Langley Research Center, 21 Langley Blvd, Mail Stop 401B, Hampton, VA 23681, USA
  • 2Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado Boulder, 3665 Discovery Drive, Boulder, CO 80303, Colorado, USA
  • 3Emeritus Senior Scientist, Code 614 Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA

Abstract. The Nimbus 7 Limb Infrared Monitor of the Stratosphere (LIMS) instrument operated from October 25, 1978, through May 28, 1979. Its Version (V6) profiles were processed and archived in 2002. We present several diagnostic examples of the quality of the V6 stratospheric ozone and water vapor data based on their Level 3 zonal Fourier coefficient products. In particular, we show that there are small differences in the ascending (A) minus descending (D) orbital temperature-pressure or T(p) profiles (their A-D values) that affect (A-D) ozone and water vapor. Systematic A-D biases in T(p) can arise from small radiance biases and/or from viewing anomalies along orbits. There can also be (A-D) differences in T(p) due to not resolving and correcting for all of the atmospheric temperature gradient along LIMS tangent view-paths. An error in T(p) affects the retrievals of ozone and water vapor through: (1) the Planck blackbody function in forward calculations of limb radiance that are part of the iterative retrieval algorithm of LIMS, and (2) the registration of the measured LIMS species radiance profiles in pressure-altitude, particularly for the lower stratosphere. We evaluate V6 ozone profile biases in the upper stratosphere with the aid of comparisons against a monthly climatology of UV-ozone soundings from rocketsondes. We also provide results of time series analyses of V6 ozone, water vapor, and potential vorticity for the middle stratosphere to show that their average (A+D) V6 Level 3 products provide a clear picture of the evolution of those tracers during northern hemisphere winter. We recommend that researchers use the average V6 Level 3 data for their science studies of stratospheric ozone and water vapor wherever diurnal variations of them are unexpected. We also point out that the present-day Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER) experiment is providing measurements and retrievals of temperature and ozone, which are essentially free of any anomalous diurnal variations.

Ellis Remsberg et al.

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Ellis Remsberg et al.

Ellis Remsberg et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The LIMS satellite instrument operated in 1978/1979 and provided profiles of temperature T and of the species O3 and H2O. LIMS viewed the atmosphere in opposite directions on its ascending (A) vs descending (D) orbital segments. We find that (A-D) diagnostic plots of O3 and H2O contain residual T biases, which is a problem for profile assimilation in re-analyses. Even so, the combined, or A+D, data yield O3 and H2O fields that agree well with that of the dynamical tracer, potential vorticity.
The LIMS satellite instrument operated in 1978/1979 and provided profiles of temperature T and...