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  • 1. Christensen, O. M.
    et al.
    Eriksson, P.
    Urban, J.
    Murtagh, D.
    Hultgren, Kristoffer
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    Gumbel, Jörg
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    Tomographic retrieval of water vapour and temperature around polar mesospheric clouds using Odin-SMR2015In: atmospheric measurement techniques, ISSN 1867-1381, Vol. 8, no 5, p. 1981-1999Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A special observation mode of the Odin satellite provides the first simultaneous measurements of water vapour, temperature and polar mesospheric cloud (PMC) brightness over a large geographical area while still resolving both horizontal and vertical structures in the clouds and background atmosphere. The observation mode was activated during June, July and August of 2010 and 2011, and for latitudes between 50 and 82 degrees N. This paper focuses on the water vapour and temperature measurements carried out with Odin's sub-millimetre radiometer (SMR). The tomographic retrieval approach used provides water vapour and temperature between 75 and 90 km with a vertical resolution of about 2.5 km and a horizontal resolution of about 200 km. The precision of the measurements is estimated to 0.2 ppmv for water vapour and 2K for temperature. Due to limited information about the pressure at the measured altitudes, the results have large uncertainties (> 3 ppmv) in the retrieved water vapour. These errors, however, influence mainly the mean atmosphere retrieved for each orbit, and variations around this mean are still reliably captured by the measurements. SMR measurements are performed using two different mixer chains, denoted as frequency mode 19 and 13. Systematic differences between the two frontends have been noted. A first comparison with the Solar Occultation For Ice Experiment instrument (SOFIE) on-board the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite and the Fourier Transform Spectrometer of the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE-FTS) on-board SCISAT indicates that the measurements using the frequency mode 19 have a significant low bias in both temperature (> 15 K) and water vapour (> 0.5 ppmv), while the measurements using frequency mode 13 agree with the other instruments considering estimated errors. PMC brightness data is provided by OSIRIS, Odin's other sensor. Combined SMR and OSIRIS data for some example orbits is considered. For these orbits, effects of PMCs on the water vapour distribution are clearly seen. Areas depleted of water vapour are found above layers with PMC, while regions of enhanced water vapour due to ice particle sedimentation are primarily placed between and under the clouds.

  • 2.
    Gumbel, Jörg
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    Hultgren, Kristoffer
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    Mesospheric Airglow/Aerosol Tomography and Spectroscopy (MATS) - a satellite mission on mesospheric wavesManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Hultgren, Kristoffer
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    Tomographic views of the middle atmosphere from a satellite platform2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The middle atmosphere is a very important part of the Earth system. Until recently, we did not realize the importance of the structure of this vaporous shell and of the fundamental role it plays in both creating and sustaining life on the planet. Thanks to the development and improvement of new sounding methods and techniques, our knowledge of the composition of the atmosphere has become more detailed than ever before. We have also learned how to reveal complex interactions between different species and how they react to the incoming solar radiation.

    The middle part of the Earth’s atmosphere serves as a host for the Polar Mesospheric Clouds. These clouds consist of a thin layer of water-ice particles, only exsisting during the summer months and only close to the poles. There are indications that the occurrence of Polar Mesospheric Clouds may be linked to climate change. It has been pointed out that the first sightings coincide with the industrial revolution. Satellite observations have shown that Polar Mesospheric Clouds have become brighter and possibly more widely distributed during the 20th century. The clouds might therefore be suited as indicators of the variability of the climate - a good reason for studying this night-shimmering phenomena. The clouds can also be used as a proxy for middle atmospheric dynamics. In order to fully utilize Polar Mesospheric Clouds as tracers for atmospheric variability and dynamics, we need to better understand their local properties.

    The Optical Spectrograph and Infra-Red Imager System (OSIRIS) is one of two instruments installed on the Odin satellite. The optical spectrograph of this instrument observes sunlight scattered by the atmosphere and thus the Polar Mesospheric Clouds. This thesis deals with a tomographic technique that can reconstruct both horizontal and vertical structures of the clouds by using observations from various angles of the atmospheric region. From this information, microphysical properties such as particle sizes and number densities are obtained.

    The tomographic technique presented in this thesis also provides a basis for a new satellite concept - MATS. The idea behind the MATS satellite mission is to analyze wave activity in the atmosphere over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, based on the scientific heritage from Odin/OSIRIS and the tomographic algorithms presented in this thesis.

  • 4.
    Hultgren, Kristoffer
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    Gumbel, Jorg
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    Tomographic and spectral views on the lifecycle of polar mesospheric clouds from Odin/OSIRIS2014In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, ISSN 2169-897X, E-ISSN 2169-8996, Vol. 119, no 24, p. 14129-14143Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Vertical and horizontal structures of Polar Mesospheric Clouds (PMC) have been recovered by tomographic retrieval from the OSIRIS instrument aboard the Odin satellite. The tomographic algorithm has been used to return local scattering coefficients at seven wavelengths in the ultraviolet. This spectral information is used to retrieve PMC particle sizes, number density, and ice mass density. While substantial horizontal variations are found, local vertical structures are overall consistent with the idea of a growth-sedimentation process leading to a visible cloud. Large numbers of small particles are present near the top of the observed cloud layer. Toward lower altitudes, particle sizes increase while particle number densities decrease. A close relationship is found between the distribution of local PMC scattering coefficient and ice mass density. The bottom of the cloud often features large particles with mode radii exceeding 70 nm that rain out of the cloud before sublimating. The number density of these large particles is small, and they do not contribute significantly to the overall cloud brightness. As a consequence, the presence of these large particles can be difficult to identify for remote sensing techniques that integrate over the entire cloud column. When it comes to deriving absolute values of particle mode radius and number density, there is a strong sensitivity to assumptions on the mathematical form of the particle size distribution. We see a continued strong need to resolve this issue by co-analysis of various remote sensing techniques and observation geometries.

  • 5.
    Hultgren, Kristoffer
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    Gumbel, Jörg
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    Tomographic and spectral views on the lifecycle of Polar Mesospheric Clouds from Odin/OSIRISIn: Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, ISSN 2169-897X, E-ISSN 2169-8996Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Hultgren, Kristoffer
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    Gumbel, Jörg
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    Degenstein, Doug
    Bourassa, Adam
    Lloyd, Nick
    Stegman, Jacek
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    First simultaneous retrievals of horizontal and vertical structures of Polar Mesospheric Clouds from Odin/OSIRIS tomography2013In: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, ISSN 1364-6826, E-ISSN 1879-1824, Vol. 104, p. 213-223Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Limb-scanning satellites can provide global information about the vertical structure of Polar Mesospheric Clouds. However, information about horizontal structures usually remains limited. In eighteen days during the northern hemisphere summers of 2010 and 2011, the Odin satellite was operated in a special mesospheric mode with short limb scans limited to the altitude range of Polar Mesospheric Clouds. For Odin's Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager System (OSIRIS) this provides multiple views through a given cloud volume, which forms a basis for tomographic analyses of the vertical/horizontal cloud structures. Here we present an algorithm for a tomographic analysis of mesospheric clouds based on maximum probability techniques. We also present the first simultaneously retrieved vertical and horizontal Polar Mesospheric Cloud structures. The findings show that the tomographic algorithm is able to locate detailed structures such as tilts, stratifications, or holes that cannot be analyzed by other limb, nadir, or ground-based measurements. We find a mean peak altitude of the clouds to be 83.6 km. We identify horizontal patches down to sizes of 300 km, which corresponds to a horizontal resolution that is limited by the available number of limb scans.

  • 7.
    Hultgren, Kristoffer
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    Kornich, Heiner
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    Gumbel, Jörg
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Meteorology .
    Gerding, Michael
    Hoffmann, Peter
    Lossow, Stefan
    Megner, Linda
    What caused the exceptional mid-latitudinal Noctilucent Cloud event in July 2009?2011In: Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, ISSN 1364-6826, E-ISSN 1879-1824, Vol. 73, no 14-15, p. 2125-2131Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Noctilucent Clouds (NLCs) are rarely observed at mid-latitudes. In July 2009, strong NLCs were recorded from both Paris and Nebraska, located at latitudes 48 degrees N and 41 degrees N, respectively. The main focus of this work is on the atmospheric conditions that have led to NLCs at these latitudes. We investigate to what extent these clouds may be explained by local formation or by transport from higher latitudes. The dynamical situation is analyzed in terms of wind fields created from Aura/MLS temperature data and measured by radar. We discuss possible tidal effects on the transport and examine the general planetary wave activity during these days. The winds do not seem sufficient to transport NLC particles long southward distances. Hence a local formation is rather likely. In order to investigate the possibility of local NLC formation, the CARMA microphysical model has been applied with temperature data from MLS as input. The results from the large-scale datasets are compared to NLC observations by Odin and to local NLC, temperature and wind measurements by lidar and radar. The reason for the exceptional NLC formation is most likely a combination of local temperature variations by diurnal tides, advantageously located large-scale planetary waves, and general mesospheric temperature conditions that were 5-10 K colder than in previous years. The results also point to that NLCs are very unlikely to occur at latitudes below 50 degrees N during daytime. This conclusion can be made from a tidal temperature mode with cold temperatures during nighttime and temperatures above the limit for NLC occurrence during daytime. The best time for observing mid-latitude NLCs is during the early morning hours.

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