Articles | Volume 10, issue 23
Research article
03 Dec 2010
Research article |  | 03 Dec 2010

Stability of temperatures from TIMED/SABER v1.07 (2002–2009) and Aura/MLS v2.2 (2004–2009) compared with OH(6-2) temperatures observed at Davis Station, Antarctica

W. J. R. French and F. J. Mulligan

Abstract. Temperature profiles from two satellite instruments – TIMED/SABER and Aura/MLS – have been used to calculate hydroxyl-layer equivalent temperatures for comparison with values measured from OH(6-2) emission lines observed by a ground-based spectrometer located at Davis Station, Antarctica (68° S, 78° E). The profile selection criteria – miss-distance <500 km from the ground station and solar zenith angles >97° – yielded a total of 2359 SABER profiles over 8 years (2002–2009) and 7407 MLS profiles over 5.5 years (2004–2009). The availability of simultaneous OH volume emission rate (VER) profiles from the SABER (OH-B channel) enabled an assessment of the impact of several different weighting functions in the calculation of OH-equivalent temperatures. The maximum difference between all derived hydroxyl layer equivalent temperatures was less than 3 K. Restricting the miss-distance and miss-time criteria showed little effect on the bias, suggesting that the OH layer is relatively uniform over the spatial and temporal scales considered. However, a significant trend was found in the bias between SABER and Davis OH of ~0.7 K/year over the 8-year period with SABER becoming warmer compared with the Davis OH temperatures. In contrast, Aura/MLS exhibited a cold bias of 9.9 ± 0.4 K compared with Davis OH, but importantly, the bias remained constant over the 2004–2009 year period examined. The difference in bias behaviour of the two satellites has significant implications for multi-annual and long-term studies using their data.

Final-revised paper