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D. J. Hofmann, J. M. Rosen, and T. J. Pepin


Seasonal tropopause height variations are utilized in studying the global stratospheric aerosol burden and possible ozone asymmetries and long-term variations. It is concluded that an intimate relationship between tropopause height and total stratospheric aerosol exists and that seasonal fluctuations in tropopause height may be responsible for at least a portion of the north-south hemisphere total ozone asymmetry and the recent long-term increase trend in total ozone.

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D. J. Hofmann, J. M. Rosen, T. J. Pepin, and R. G. Pinnick


The results of over 70 balloon soundings, by the University of Wyoming's Atmospheric Physics Group mostly during 1972 and 1973 from a number of stations, are being utilized in a study of the temporal and spatial distribution of the global stratospheric aerosol. This paper deals with the instrumentation, calibration, etc., and with the results of monthly soundings from the Laramie (41°N) station during the approximately two-year period of measurement. This period comprises an interval apparently free of major volcanic activity just prior to the extensive volcanic contributions to the stratospheric aerosol which occurred in late 1974. It thus may be compared to the pre-Agung era and is perhaps as close to the so-called “natural stratospheric background conditions,” if indeed such conditions ever exist, as will likely be attained in the near future.

A simple seasonal variation in the total stratospheric aerosol loading below about 20 km altitude dominates the temporal variation at Laramie, resulting in a maximum in winter and a minimum in summer. A high correlation with tropopause height is observed. The seasonal variation appears to be superimposed on a long-term variation, the nature of which is unknown. Above 20 km, no seasonal variation is evident, and the natural aerosol production processes appear to be nearly in equilibrium with loss processes.

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P. B. Russell, J. M. Livingston, T. J. Swissler, M. P. McCormick, W. P. Chu, and T. J. Pepin


We present a model of stratospheric aerosol optical properties (refractive index and relative size distribution) and their variability. The model's purposes are 1) providing flexible, efficient means for converting between different aerosol macroproperties (e.g., number or mass concentration, extinction or backscatter coefficient), and 2) quantifying the uncertainties in the conversion process. The latter purpose is achieved by including the results of a sensitivity analysis in the model output products.

The model has three layers, the boundaries of which are defined by tropopause height. Each layer includes a set of empirically based refractive indices and relative size distribution types. In contrast to previous models, this model allows for a range of sulfuric acid and ammonium sulfate refractive indices within the “inner stratospheric” layer (∼2 to 20 km above the tropopause, where the major peak in aerosol mixing ratio occurs). We show that nine different analytical types of size distribution previously recommended for this layer can be parameterized in terms of channel ratio—i.e., the relative size distribution indicator that has been extensively measured by dustsondes.

When so parameterized, all nine inner stratospheric function types give very similar results for the several conversion ratios of interest. This parameterization allows considerable saving of computer time while preserving the flexibility to handle certain types of size distribution change. We show that the inner stratospheric parameterization works because all nine inner stratospheric size distribution types are relatively narrow, and their optical integrals of interest are determined primarily by a size range that is well characterized by channel ratio.

Data from previous measurements made near the tropopause are used to demonstrate that, in that region, size distributions are broader than any of the inner stratospheric types, and that their optical integrals are strongly influenced by particles too large to be characterized by channel ratio. Hence, in the layer near the tropopause, conversion ratios can differ significantly from the inner stratospheric values; consequently, parameterization by channel ratios is not successful.

We develop methods for deriving vertical profiles of several conversion ratios and their uncertainties. We also demonstrate an application of the model: deriving profiles of number density and its uncertainty from satellite-measured profiles of extinction and its uncertainty. A companion paper applies the model to the task of validating satellite measurements of stratospheric aerosol extinction.

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M. P. McCormick, Patrick Hamill, T. J Pepin, W. P. Chu, T. J Swissler, and L. R. McMaster

The potential climatological and environmental importance of the stratospheric aerosol layer has prompted great interest in measuring the properties of this aerosol. In this paper we report on two recently deployed NASA satellite systems (SAM II and SAGE) that are monitoring the stratospheric aerosol. The satellite orbits are such that nearly global coverage is obtained. The instruments mounted in the spacecraft are sun photometers that measure solar intensity at specific wavelengths as it is moderated by atmospheric particulates and gases during each sunrise and sunset encountered by the satellites. The data obtained are “inverted” to yield vertical aerosol and gaseous (primarily ozone) extinction profiles with 1 km vertical resolution. Thus, latitudinal, longitudinal, and temporal variations in the aerosol layer can be evaluated. The satellite systems are being validated by a series of ground truth experiments using airborne and ground lidar, balloon-borne dustsondes, aircraft-mounted impactors, and other correlative sensors. We describe the SAM II and SAGE satellite systems, instrument characteristics, and mode of operation; outline the methodology of the experiments; and describe the ground truth experiments. We present preliminary results from these measurements.

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P.B. Russell, M.P. McCormick, T.J. Swissler, W.P. Chu, J.M. Livingston, W.H. Fuller, J.M. Rosen, D.J. Hofmann, L.R. McMaster, D.C. Woods, and T.J. Pepin


We show results from the first set of measurements conducted to validate extinction data from the satellite sensor SAM II. Dustsonde-measured number density profiles and lidar-measured backscattering profiles for two days are converted to extinction profiles using the optical modeling techniques described in the companion Paper I (Russell et al., 1981). At heights ∼2 km and more above the tropopause, the dustsonde data are used to restrict the range of model size distributions, thus reducing uncertainties in the conversion process. At all heights, measurement uncertainties for each sensor are evaluated, and these are combined with conversion uncertainties to yield the total uncertainty in derived data profiles.

The SAM II measured, dustsonde-inferred, and lidar-inferred extinction profiles for both days are shown to agree within their respective uncertainties at all heights above the tropopause. Near the tropopause, this agreement depends on the use of model size distributions with more relatively large particles (radius ≳0.6 μm) than are present in distributions used to model the main stratospheric aerosol peak. The presence of these relatively large particles is supported by measurements made elsewhere and is suggested by in situ size distribution measurements reported here. These relatively large particles near the tropopause are likely to have an important bearing on the radiative impact of the total stratospheric aerosol.

The agreement in this experiment supports the validity of the SAM II extinction data and the SAM II uncertainty estimates derived from an independent error analysis. Recommendations are given for reducing the uncertainties of future correlative experiments.

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