Articles | Volume 12, issue 13
Research article
13 Jul 2012
Research article |  | 13 Jul 2012

On the quality of MIPAS kinetic temperature in the middle atmosphere

M. García-Comas, B. Funke, M. López-Puertas, D. Bermejo-Pantaleón, N. Glatthor, T. von Clarmann, G. Stiller, U. Grabowski, C. D. Boone, W. J. R. French, T. Leblanc, M. J. López-González, and M. J. Schwartz

Abstract. The kinetic temperature and line of sight elevation information are retrieved from the MIPAS Middle Atmosphere (MA), Upper Atmosphere (UA) and NoctiLucent-Cloud (NLC) modes of high spectral resolution limb observations of the CO2 15 μm emission using the dedicated IMK/IAA retrieval algorithm, which considers non-local thermodynamic equilibrium conditions. These variables are accurately derived from about 20 km (MA) and 40 km (UA and NLC) to 105 km globally and both at daytime and nighttime. Typical temperature random errors are smaller than 0.5 K below 50 km, 0.5–2 K at 50–70 km, and 2–7 K above. The systematic error is typically 1 K below 70 km, 1–3 K from 70 to 85 km and 3–11 K from 85 to 100 km. The average vertical resolution is typically 4 km below 35 km, 3 km at 35–50 km, 4–6 km at 50–90 km, and 6–10 km above. We compared our MIPAS temperature retrievals from 2005 to 2009 with co-located ground-based measurements from the lidars located at the Table Mountain Facility and Mauna Loa Observatory, the SATI spectrograph in Granada (Spain) and the Davis station spectrometer, and satellite observations from ACE-FTS, Aura-MLS and TIMED-SABER from 20 km to 100 km. We also compared MIPAS temperatures with the high latitudes climatology from falling sphere measurements. The comparisons show very good agreement, with differences smaller than 3 K below 85–90 km in mid-latitudes. Differences over the poles in this altitude range are larger but can be generally explained in terms of known biases of the other instruments. The comparisons above 90 km worsen and MIPAS retrieved temperatures are always larger than other instrument measurements.

Final-revised paper