Articles | Volume 8, issue 24
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 7465–7482, 2008
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 7465–7482, 2008

  16 Dec 2008

16 Dec 2008

Seasonal variation of nocturnal temperatures between 1 and 105 km altitude at 54° N observed by lidar

M. Gerding1, J. Höffner1, J. Lautenbach1, M. Rauthe1,*, and F.-J. Lübken1 M. Gerding et al.
  • 1Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Kühlungsborn, Germany
  • *now at: Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung, Universität Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany, Kühlungsborn, Germany

Abstract. Temperature soundings are performed by lidar at the mid-latitude station of Kühlungsborn (Germany, 54° N, 12° E). The profiles cover the complete range from the lower troposphere (~1 km) to the lower thermosphere (~105 km) by simultaneous and co-located operation of a Rayleigh-Mie-Raman lidar and a potassium resonance lidar. Observations have been done during 266 nights between June 2002 and July 2007, each of 3–15 h length. This large and unique data set provides comprehensive information on the altitudinal and seasonal variation of temperatures from the troposphere to the lower thermosphere. The remaining day-to-day-variability is strongly reduced by harmonic fits at constant altitude levels and a representative data set is achieved. This data set reveals a two-level mesopause structure with an altitude of about 86–87 km (~144 K) in summer and ~102 km (~170 K) during the rest of the year. The average stratopause altitude is ~48 km throughout the whole year, with temperatures varying between 258 and 276 K. From the fit parameters amplitudes and phases of annual, semi-annual, and quarter-annual variations are derived. The amplitude of the annual component is largest with amplitudes of up to 30 K in 85 km, while the quarter-annual variation is smallest and less than 3 K at all altitudes. The lidar data set is compared with ECMWF temperatures below about 70 km altitude and reference data from the NRLMSISE-00 model above. Apart from the temperature soundings the aerosol backscatter ratio is measured between 20 and 35 km. The seasonal variation of these values is presented here for the first time.

Final-revised paper