Limb observations of the middle atmosphere by space- and airborne instruments Editor(s): C. von Savigny, G. Stiller, E.Kyrölä, F. Khosrawi, P. Liebing, and S. Buehler Special issue jointly organized between Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics and Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
Spaceborne and airborne remote sensing measurements of the Earth’s atmosphere in limb geometry provide vertical profile information of atmospheric minor constituents and background parameters with generally good vertical resolution. These measurements include solar, lunar and stellar occultation measurements, measurements of thermal emissions in the microwave and infrared spectral regions, observations of limb-scattered solar radiation as well as measurements of non-thermal airglow emissions in the optical spectral range. Over the last decade Limb measurements in the different spectral regions have greatly improved our understanding of many physical and chemical processes in the Earth’s middle atmosphere, comprising the stratosphere and mesosphere.
The 7th atmospheric limb conference, held at Bremen, Germany in June 2013 was dedicated to all scientific aspects related to middle atmospheric limb measurements, including current and future missions, instrument monitoring, algorithm development and implementation, radiative transfer modeling, validation of data products and scientific analyses based on the retrieved data products. This special issue is an outcome of the 7th atmospheric limb conference, and contributions on all aspects mentioned are welcome. Note that attendance of the conference is not a prerequisite for submitting manuscripts to this special issue.
Summary: Volcanic eruptions can be violent enough to inject sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere: the layer of the atmosphere which contains the ozone layer. Sulfur dioxide is a gas, but once it is in the stratosphere various chemical reactions convert it into tiny particles. These particles can alter the Earth's climate by reflecting sunlight. In this paper we describe how we used a satellite instrument called the Microwave Limb Sounder to observe volcanic sulfur dioxide in the stratosphere.
Global investigation of the Mg atom and ion layers using SCIAMACHY/Envisat observations between 70 and 150 km altitude and WACCM-Mg model results
Summary: Global concentration fields of Mg and Mg+ in the Earth's upper mesosphere and lower thermosphere (70-150km) are presented. These are retrieved from SCIAMACHY/Envisat satellite grating spectrometer measurements in limb viewing geometry between 2008 and 2012.
These were compared with WACCM-Mg model results and a large fraction of the available measurement results for these species, and an interpretation of the results is done. The variation of these species during NLC presence is discussed.
M. P. Langowski, C. von Savigny, J. P. Burrows, W. Feng, J. M. C. Plane, D. R. Marsh, D. Janches, M. Sinnhuber, A. C. Aikin, and P. Liebing Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 273-295, 2015 AbstractFinal Revised Paper (PDF, 893 KB)Discussion Paper (ACPD)