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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1035
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1035
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 25 Jan 2019

Submitted as: research article | 25 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Common volume satellite studies of polar mesospheric clouds with Odin/OSIRIS tomography and AIM/CIPS nadir imaging

Lina Broman1, Susanne Benze1, Jörg Gumbel1, Ole-Martin Christensen1, and Cora E. Randall2 Lina Broman et al.
  • 1Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA

Abstract. Two important approaches for satellite studies of Polar Mesospheric Clouds (PMC) are nadir measurements adapting phase function analysis and limb measurements adapting spectroscopic analysis. Combining both approaches enables new studies of cloud structures and microphysical processes but is complicated by differences in scattering conditions, observation geometry, and sensitivity. In this study, we compare common volume PMC observations from the nadir viewing Cloud Imaging and Particle Size instrument (CIPS) on the AIM satellite and a special set of tomographic limb observations from the Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager System (OSIRIS) on the Odin satellite. While CIPS provides preeminent horizontal resolution, the OSIRIS tomographic analysis provides combined horizontal and vertical PMC information. This first direct comparison is an important step towards co-analyzing CIPS and OSIRIS data, aiming at unprecedented insights into horizontal and vertical cloud processes. We perform the first thorough error characterization of OSIRIS tomographic cloud brightness and cloud ice. We establish a consistent method for comparing cloud properties from limb tomography and nadir observations, accounting for differences in scattering conditions, resolution and sensitivity. Based on an extensive common volume, and a temporal coincidence criterion of only 5 minutes, our method enables a detailed comparison of PMC regions of varying brightness and ice content. We find that the primary OSIRIS tomography product, cloud scattering coefficient, shows very good agreement with the primary CIPS product, cloud albedo with a correlation coefficient of 0.96. However, OSIRIS systematically reports brighter clouds than CIPS and the bias between the instruments (OSIRIS – CIPS) is 3.4e−6 sr−1 (±2.9e−6 sr−1) on average. The OSIRIS tomography ice mass density agrees well with the CIPS ice water content, with a correlation coefficient of 0.91. However, the ice water content reported by OSIRIS is lower than CIPS, and we quantify the bias to −22 g km−2 (±14 g km−2) on average.

Lina Broman et al.
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Lina Broman et al.
Lina Broman et al.
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Short summary
Combining satellite observations of Polar Mesospheric Clouds are complicated due to satellite geometry and measurement technique. In this study, tomographic limb observations are compared to observations from a nadir viewing satellite using a common volume approach. We present a technique that overcomes differences in scattering conditions and observation geometry. The satellites show excellent agreement, which lays the basis for future insights into horizontal and vertical cloud processes.
Combining satellite observations of Polar Mesospheric Clouds are complicated due to satellite...
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