A New Stratospheric Aerosol Product from CALIPSO Lidar Measurements

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Jayanta Kar1, Mark Vaughan2, Charles R Trepte2, David M Winker2, Jean-Paul Vernier1, Michael C Pitts2, Stuart A Young3, Zhaoyan Liu1, Patricia Lucker1, Jason Lucas Tackett1 and Ali H Omar2, (1)Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Hampton, VA, United States, (2)NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States, (3)CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Victoria, Australia
Stratospheric aerosols are derived from precursor SO2 and OCS gases transported from the lower troposphere. Volcanic injections can also enhance aerosol loadings far above background levels. The latter can exert a significant influence on the Earth’s radiation budget for major and even minor eruptions. Careful measurements are needed, therefore, to monitor the distribution and evolution of stratospheric aerosols for climate related studies.

The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) mission has been acquiring profile measurements of clouds and aerosols since 2006, leading to major advances in our understanding of tropospheric aerosol and cloud properties and the processes that control them. The CALIPSO products have also enabled new insights into polar stratospheric clouds and stratospheric aerosols. Vernier et al (2009,JGR,114,D00H10) reported on the construction of a modified CALIPSO lidar product that corrected minor artifacts with the original lidar calibration that affected stratospheric aerosol investigations. A significantly improved CALIPSO Lidar Version 4 Level 1 product has been recently released addressing these calibration issues and has resulted in enhanced signal levels and a highly stable record over the span of the mission. Based on this product, a new 3D gridded stratospheric CALIPSO data product is under development and being targeted for release in 2015. A key emphasis of this new product is to bridge the measurement gap between the SAGE II and SAGE III data record (1984-2005) and the start of measurements from the new SAGE III instrument to be deployed on the International Space Station in 2016. The primary parameters delivered in the CALIPSO stratospheric data products will be attenuated scattering ratio and aerosol extinction profiles, both averaged over one month intervals and binned into an equal angle grid of constant latitude and longitude with a vertical resolution of 900m.

We will present the overall scheme for developing this product, as well as comparisons of our preliminary results with other datasets having temporal and spatial measurement overlaps such as OSIRIS and GOMOS and possibly OMPS. Signatures of volcanic effects and transport effects such as the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) as captured in the product will be presented.