Articles | Volume 12, issue 24
Research article
17 Dec 2012
Research article |  | 17 Dec 2012

On recent (2008–2012) stratospheric aerosols observed by lidar over Japan

O. Uchino, T. Sakai, T. Nagai, K. Nakamae, I. Morino, K. Arai, H. Okumura, S. Takubo, T. Kawasaki, Y. Mano, T. Matsunaga, and T. Yokota

Abstract. An increase in stratospheric aerosols caused by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Nabro (13.37° N, 41.70° E) on 12 June 2011 was detected by lidar at Tsukuba (36.05° N, 140.13° E) and Saga (33.24° N, 130.29° E) in Japan. The maximum backscattering ratios at a wavelength of 532 nm were 2.0 at 17.0 km on 10 July 2011 at Tsukuba and 3.6 at 18.2 km on 23 June 2011 at Saga. The maximum integrated backscattering coefficients (IBCs) at 532 nm above the first tropopause height were 4.18×10−4 sr−1 on 11 February 2012 at Tsukuba and 4.19×10−4 sr−1 on 23 June 2011 at Saga, respectively.

A time series of lidar observational results at Tsukuba have also been reported from January 2008 through May 2012. Increases in stratospheric aerosols were observed after the volcanic eruptions of Mt. Kasatochi (52.18° N, 175.51° E) in August 2008 and Mt. Sarychev Peak (48.09° N, 153.20° E) in June 2009. The yearly averaged IBCs at Tsukuba were 2.54×10−4 sr−1, 2.48×10−4 sr−1, 2.45×10−4 sr−1, and 2.20×10−4 sr−1 for 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, respectively. These values were about twice the IBC background level (1.21×10−4 sr−1) from 1997 to 2001 at Tsukuba. We briefly discuss the influence of the increased aerosols on climate and the implications for analysis of satellite data.

Final-revised paper