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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 4, issue 5 | Copyright

Special issue: Atmospheric remote sensing using limb observations

Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 933-954, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-4-933-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 23 May 2011

Research article | 23 May 2011

Retrieval of water vapor vertical distributions in the upper troposphere and the lower stratosphere from SCIAMACHY limb measurements

A. Rozanov1, K. Weigel1, H. Bovensmann1, S. Dhomse1,*, K.-U. Eichmann1, R. Kivi2, V. Rozanov1, H. Vömel3, M. Weber1, and J. P. Burrows1 A. Rozanov et al.
  • 1Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP), University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 2Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 3Meteorological Observatory Lindenberg, Deutscher Wetterdienst, Lindenberg, Germany
  • *now at: School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Abstract. This study describes the retrieval of water vapor vertical distributions in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) altitude range from space-borne observations of the scattered solar light made in limb viewing geometry. First results using measurements from SCIAMACHY (Scanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY) aboard ENVISAT (Environmental Satellite) are presented here. In previous publications, the retrieval of water vapor vertical distributions has been achieved exploiting either the emitted radiance leaving the atmosphere or the transmitted solar radiation. In this study, the scattered solar radiation is used as a new source of information on the water vapor content in the UTLS region. A recently developed retrieval algorithm utilizes the differential absorption structure of the water vapor in 1353–1410 nm spectral range and yields the water vapor content in the 11–25 km altitude range. In this study, the retrieval algorithm is successfully applied to SCIAMACHY limb measurements and the resulting water vapor profiles are compared to in situ balloon-borne observations. The results from both satellite and balloon-borne instruments are found to agree typically within 10 %.

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