Optical extinction by upper tropospheric/stratospheric aerosols and clouds: GOMOS observations for the period 2002–2008
1Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Brussels, Belgium
2Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
3Service d'Aéronomie du CNRS, Verrieres-le-Buisson, France
4ACRI-ST, Sophia-Antipolis, France
5ESA-ESRIN, Frascati, Italy
Abstract. Although the retrieval of aerosol extinction coefficients from satellite remote measurements is notoriously difficult (in comparison with gaseous species) due to the lack of typical spectral signatures, important information can be obtained. In this paper we present an overview of the current operational nighttime UV/Vis aerosol extinction profile results for the GOMOS star occultation instrument, spanning the period from August 2002 to May 2008. Some problems still remain, such as the ones associated with incomplete scintillation correction and the aerosol spectral law implementation, but good quality extinction values can be expected at a wavelength of 500 nm. Typical phenomena associated with atmospheric particulate matter in the Upper Troposphere/Lower Stratosphere (UTLS) are easily identified: Polar Stratospheric Clouds, tropical subvisual cirrus clouds, background stratospheric aerosols, and post-eruption volcanic aerosols (with their subsequent dispersion around the globe). In this overview paper we will give a summary of the current results.