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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 06 Aug 2018

Research article | 06 Aug 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

A new MesosphEO dataset of temperature profiles from 35 to 85 km using Rayleigh scattering at limb from GOMOS/ENVISAT daytime observations

Alain Hauchecorne1, Laurent Blanot2, Robin Wing1, Philippe Keckhut1, Sergey Khaykin1, Jean-Loup Bertaux1, Mustapha Meftah1, Chantal Claud3, and Viktoria Sofieva4 Alain Hauchecorne et al.
  • 1Université Versailles St-Quentin; Sorbonne Université, CNRS/INSU, LATMOS-IPSL, Guyancourt, France
  • 2ACRI-ST, SophiaAntipolis, France
  • 3LMD, Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS/INSU, Palaiseau, France
  • 4FMI, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. Given that the scattering of sunlight by the Earth's atmosphere above 30–35km is primarily due to molecular Rayleigh scattering, the intensity of scattered photons can be assumed to be directly proportional to the atmospheric density. From the measured relative density profile it is possible to retrieve an absolute temperature profile by assuming local hydrostatic equilibrium, the perfect gas law, and an a priori temperature from a climatological model at the top of the atmosphere. This technique is applied to Rayleigh lidar observations for over 35 years. The GOMOS star occultation spectrometer included spectral channels to observe daytime limb scattered sunlight close to the star direction. GOMOS Rayleigh scattering profiles in the spectral range 420–480nm have been used to retrieve temperature profiles in the altitude range 35–85km with a 2-km vertical resolution. A database of more than 309,000 temperature profiles has been created.

A global climatology was built and compared to GOMOS external model. In the upper stratosphere, where the external model is based on ECMWF analysis, the agreement is better than 2K. In the mesosphere, where the external model follows MSIS climatology, 5 to 10K differences are observed. Comparison with nighttime collocated Rayleigh lidar profiles above south of France shows some differences with a vertical structure that may be at least partially explained by the contribution of thermal diurnal tide.

The temperature evolution obtained at Equator indicates the occurrence of mesospheric inversion layers in the temperature profile with global longitudinal extension, descending in about one month from 80 to 70km. The climatology shows a semi-annual variation in the upper stratosphere, a stratopause altitude varying between 47 and 54km and an annual variation in the mesosphere.

The technique to derive temperature profiles from Rayleigh scattering at limb can be applied to any other limb-scatter sounder providing observation in the spectral range 350–500nm. This is also a good candidate for a future small satellite constellation due to the simplicity of the principle.

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Alain Hauchecorne et al.
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Short summary
This paper presents a new dataset of temperature profiles in the upper stratosphere and mesosphere acquired with the GOMOS spectrometer on board the European satellite ENVISAT. The principle is to observe the scattering of sunlight by air molecules at the Earth limb. The observed signal is proportional to the atmospheric density from which the temperature is derived. This technique provides a new source of information on temperature in an altitude range where satellite observations are sparse.
This paper presents a new dataset of temperature profiles in the upper stratosphere and...