Articles | Volume 21, issue 20
Research article
15 Oct 2021
Research article |  | 15 Oct 2021

Investigation and amelioration of long-term instrumental drifts in water vapor and nitrous oxide measurements from the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) and their implications for studies of variability and trends

Nathaniel J. Livesey, William G. Read, Lucien Froidevaux, Alyn Lambert, Michelle L. Santee, Michael J. Schwartz, Luis F. Millán, Robert F. Jarnot, Paul A. Wagner, Dale F. Hurst, Kaley A. Walker, Patrick E. Sheese, and Gerald E. Nedoluha


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Short summary
The Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS), an instrument on NASA's Aura mission launched in 2004, measures vertical profiles of the temperature and composition of Earth's "middle atmosphere" (the region from ~12 to ~100 km altitude). We describe how, among the 16 trace gases measured by MLS, the measurements of water vapor (H2O) and nitrous oxide (N2O) have started to drift since ~2010. The paper also discusses the origins of this drift and work to ameliorate it in a new version of the MLS dataset.
Final-revised paper