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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  29 Sep 2020

29 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Location controls the findings of ground-based PSC observations

Matthias Tesche1, Peggy Achtert2, and Michael C. Pitts3 Matthias Tesche et al.
  • 1Leipzig Institute for Meteorology (LIM), Leipzig University, Stephanstrasse 3, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeißenberg, German Weather Service (DWD), Germany
  • 3NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia 23681, USA

Abstract. Spaceborne observations of Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs) with the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) aboard the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) satellite provide a comprehensive picture of the occurrence of Arctic and Antarctic PSCs as well as their microphysical properties. However, advances in understanding PSC microphysics also require measurements with ground-based instruments, which are often superior to CALIOP in terms of, e.g. time resolution, measured parameters, and signal-to-noise ratio. This advantage is balanced by the location of ground-based PSC observations and their dependence on tropospheric cloudiness. CALIPSO observations during the boreal winters from December 2006 to February 2018 and the austral winters 2012 and 2015 are used to assess the representativeness of ground-based PSC observations with lidar in the Arctic and Antarctic, respectively. Information on tropospheric and stratospheric clouds from the CALIPSO Cloud Profile product (05kmCPro version 4.10) and the Polar Stratospheric Cloud (PSC) mask version 2, respectively, is combined on a profile-by-profile basis to identify conditions under which a ground-based lidar is likely to perform useful measurements for the analysis of PSC occurrence. It is found that the location of a ground-based measurement together with the related tropospheric cloudiness can have a profound impact on the derived PSC statistics and that these findings are rarely in agreement with polar-wide results from CALIOP observations. Considering the current polar research infrastructure, it is concluded that the most suitable sites for the expansion of capabilities for ground-based lidar observations of PSCs are Summit and Villum in the Arctic and Concordia, Troll, and Vostok in the Antarctic.

Matthias Tesche et al.

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Matthias Tesche et al.

Matthias Tesche et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We combine spaceborne lidar observations of clouds in the troposphere and stratosphere to assess the outcome of ground-based PSC observations that are often performed at the mercy of tropospheric clouds. We find that the outcome of ground-based lidar measurements of PSCs depends on the location of the measurement. We also provide recommendations regarding most suitable sites in the Arctic and Antarctic.
We combine spaceborne lidar observations of clouds in the troposphere and stratosphere to assess...