Spectral Signatures of Polar Stratospheric Clouds and Sulfate Aerosol

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research , Boulder, Colorado
  • | 2 Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
  • | 3 Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory, Palo Alto, California
  • | 4 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California
  • | 5 University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
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Abstract

Multiwavelength observations of Antarctic and midlatitude aerosol by the Cryogenic Limb Array Etalon Spectrometer (CLAES) experiment on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite are used to demonstrate a technique that identifies the location of polar stratospheric clouds. The technique discussed uses the normalized area of the triangle formed by the aerosol extinctions at 925, 1257, and 1605 cm−1 (10.8, 8.0, and 6.2 μm) to derive a spectral aerosol measure M of the aerosol spectrum. Mie calculations for spherical particles and T-matrix calculations for spheroidal particles are used to generate theoretical spectral extinction curves for sulfate and polar stratospheric cloud particles. The values of the spectral aerosol measure M for the sulfate and polar stratospheric cloud particles are shown to be different. Aerosol extinction data, corresponding to temperatures between 180 and 220 K at a pressure of 46 hPa (near 21-km altitude) for 18 August 1992, are used to demonstrate the technique. Thermodynamic calculations, based upon frost-point calculations and laboratory phase-equilibrium studies of nitric acid trihydrate, are used to predict the location of nitric acid trihydrate cloud particles.

*Current affiliation: Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Abstract

Multiwavelength observations of Antarctic and midlatitude aerosol by the Cryogenic Limb Array Etalon Spectrometer (CLAES) experiment on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite are used to demonstrate a technique that identifies the location of polar stratospheric clouds. The technique discussed uses the normalized area of the triangle formed by the aerosol extinctions at 925, 1257, and 1605 cm−1 (10.8, 8.0, and 6.2 μm) to derive a spectral aerosol measure M of the aerosol spectrum. Mie calculations for spherical particles and T-matrix calculations for spheroidal particles are used to generate theoretical spectral extinction curves for sulfate and polar stratospheric cloud particles. The values of the spectral aerosol measure M for the sulfate and polar stratospheric cloud particles are shown to be different. Aerosol extinction data, corresponding to temperatures between 180 and 220 K at a pressure of 46 hPa (near 21-km altitude) for 18 August 1992, are used to demonstrate the technique. Thermodynamic calculations, based upon frost-point calculations and laboratory phase-equilibrium studies of nitric acid trihydrate, are used to predict the location of nitric acid trihydrate cloud particles.

*Current affiliation: Stanford University, Palo Alto, California.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

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