MIPAS detection of cloud and aerosol particle occurrence in the UTLS with comparison to HIRDLS and CALIOP

H. Sembhi, J. Remedios, T. Trent, D. P. Moore, R. Spang, S. Massie, J.-P. Vernier
2012 Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions  
Satellite infrared emission instruments require efficient systems that can separate and flag observations which are affected by clouds and aerosols. This paper investigates the identification of cloud and aerosols from infrared, limb sounding spectra that were recorded by the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS), a high spectral resolution Fourier transform spectrometer on the European Space Agency's (ESA) ENVISAT (Now inoperative since April 2012 due to loss of
more » ... due to loss of contact). Specifically, the performance of an existing cloud and aerosol particle detection method is simulated with a radiative transfer model in order to establish, for the first time, confident detection limits for particle presence in the atmosphere from MIPAS data. The newly established thresholds improve confidence in the ability to detect particle injection events, plume transport in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) and better characterise cloud distributions utilising MIPAS spectra. The method also provides a fast front-end detection system for the MIPClouds processor; a processor designed for the retrieval of macro-and microphysical cloud properties from the MIPAS data. It is shown that across much of the stratosphere, the threshold for the standard cloud index in band A is 5.0 although threshold values of over 6.0 occur in restricted regimes. Polar regions show a surprising degree of uncertainty at altitudes above 20 km, potentially due to changing stratospheric trace gas concentrations in polar vortex conditions and poor signal-to-noise due to cold atmospheric temperatures. The optimised thresholds of this study can be used for much of the time, but time/composition-dependent thresholds are recommended for MIPAS data for the strongly perturbed polar
doi:10.5194/amtd-5-1795-2012 fatcat:etfgfhyrtzgzld2sxsbx3tv36y