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

Research article 24 Aug 2018

Research article | 24 Aug 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Comparison of Antarctic polar stratospheric cloud observations by ground-based and spaceborne lidars and relevance for Chemistry Climate Models

Marcel Snels1, Andrea Scoccione1, Luca Di Liberto1, Francesco Colao5, Michael Pitts2, Lamont Poole3, Terry Deshler4, Francesco Cairo1, Chiara Cagnazzo1, and Federico Fierli1 Marcel Snels et al.
  • 1Istituto di Scienze dell’Atmosfera e del Clima, Via Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Roma
  • 2NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia 23681, USA
  • 3Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Hampton, Virginia, 23666, USA
  • 4University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA
  • 5ENEA, Via Enrico Fermi 45, 00044 Frascati

Abstract. A statistical comparison of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) occurrence from 2006 to 2010 is presented, as observed from the ground-based station McMurdo (Antarctica), included as a primary station in the NDACC (Network for Detection of Atmospheric Climate Change), and by the satellite-borne CALIOP lidar measuring over McMurdo. The ground-based observations have been classified with an algorithm derived from the recent V2 detection and classification scheme, used to classify PSCs observed by CALIOP.

A statistical approach has been used to compare ground-based and satellite based observations, since point-to-point comparison between ground-based and satellite based lidar measurements is often troublesome due to the intrinsic differences in the observation geometries and the imperfect overlap of the observed areas.

This comparison of space-borne, ground-based lidar observations and a selection simulations obtained from Chemistry Climate Models has been made by using a series of quantitative diagnostics based on the statistical occurrence of different PSC types. The distribution of PSCs over Antarctica, calculated by several CCMVAL-2 and CCMI chemistry climate models has been compared with the PSC coverage observed by the satellite based CALIOP lidar. The use of several diagnostic tools, including the temperature dependence of the PSC occurrences, evidences the merits and flaws of the different models. The diagnostic methods have been defined to overcome (at least partially) the possible differences due to the resolution of the models and to identify differences due to microphysics (e.g. the dependence of PSC occurrence from T-TNAT).

A significant temperature bias of most models has been observed as well as a limited ability to reproduce the longitudinal variations in PSC occurrences observed by CALIOP. In particular a strong temperature bias has been observed in CCMVAL-2 models with a strong impact on PSC formation. The WACCM-CCMI model compares rather well with the CALIOP observations, although a temperature bias is still present.

Marcel Snels et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Marcel Snels et al.
Marcel Snels et al.
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Short summary
Polar stratospheric clouds are important for stratospheric chemistry and ozone depletion. Here we statistically compare groundbased and satellite borne lidar measurements at McMurdo (Antarctica) in order to better understand the differences between groundbased and satellite borne observations. The satellite observations have also been compared to models used in CCMVAL-2 and CCMI studies, with the goal to test different diagnostic methods for comparing observations with model outputs.
Polar stratospheric clouds are important for stratospheric chemistry and ozone depletion. Here...