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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 6 | Copyright

Special issue: Quadrennial Ozone Symposium 2016 – Status and trends...

Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 3661-3687, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 26 Jun 2018

Research article | 26 Jun 2018

Homogenizing and estimating the uncertainty in NOAA's long-term vertical ozone profile records measured with the electrochemical concentration cell ozonesonde

Chance W. Sterling1,2, Bryan J. Johnson1, Samuel J. Oltmans1, Herman G. J. Smit3, Allen F. Jordan1,2, Patrick D. Cullis1,2, Emrys G. Hall1,2, Anne M. Thompson4, and Jacquelyn C. Witte4,5 Chance W. Sterling et al.
  • 1National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, CO, 80305, USA
  • 2Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Boulder, CO, 80309, USA
  • 3Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Institute of Energy and Climate Research: Troposphere, Jülich, Germany
  • 4NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 5SSAI, Lanham, MD, USA

Abstract. NOAA's program of long-term monitoring of the vertical distribution of ozone with electrochemical concentration cell (ECC) ozonesondes has undergone a number of changes over the 50-year record. In order to produce a homogenous data set, these changes must be documented and, where necessary, appropriate corrections applied. This is the first comprehensive and consistent reprocessing of NOAA's ozonesonde data records that corrects for these changes using the rawest form of the data (cell current and pump temperature) in native resolution as well as a point-by-point uncertainty calculation that is unique to each sounding. The reprocessing is carried out uniformly at all eight ozonesonde sites in NOAA's network with differences in sensing solution and ozonesonde types accounted for in the same way at all sites. The corrections used to homogenize the NOAA ozonesonde data records greatly improve the ozonesonde measurements with an average one sigma uncertainty of ±4–6% in the stratosphere and ±5–20% in the troposphere. A comparison of the integrated column ozone from the ozonesonde profile with co-located Dobson spectrophotometers total column ozone measurements shows agreement within ±5% for >70% of the profiles. Very good agreement is also found in the stratosphere between ozonesonde profiles and profiles retrieved from the Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SBUV) instruments.

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Short summary
The electrochemical concentration cell ozonesonde is a balloon-borne instrument that measures ozone to an altitude of ~30 km. This work summarizes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 50+ year, eight-site ozonesonde network history, the processing techniques utilized to account for instrumental changes, and the uncertainty of the measurement. The ozonesonde measurements were compared to satellite measurements and agreed well. This important data set is more useful and robust.
The electrochemical concentration cell ozonesonde is a balloon-borne instrument that measures...