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Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 469-492, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-10-469-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
 
12 Mar 2018
A global space-based stratospheric aerosol climatology: 1979–2016
Larry W. Thomason1, Nicholas Ernest2, Luis Millán3, Landon Rieger4, Adam Bourassa4, Jean-Paul Vernier2, Gloria Manney5, Beiping Luo6, Florian Arfeuille7, and Thomas Peter6 1NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, USA
2SSAI, Hampton, Virginia, USA
3NASA JPL, Pasadena, California, USA
4University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
5NorthWest Research Associates, Socorro, New Mexico, USA
6ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
7Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Laboratory for Air Pollution and Environmental Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland
Abstract. We describe the construction of a continuous 38-year record of stratospheric aerosol optical properties. The Global Space-based Stratospheric Aerosol Climatology, or GloSSAC, provided the input data to the construction of the Climate Model Intercomparison Project stratospheric aerosol forcing data set (1979–2014) and we have extended it through 2016 following an identical process. GloSSAC focuses on the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) series of instruments through mid-2005, and on the Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager System (OSIRIS) and the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) data thereafter. We also use data from other space instruments and from ground-based, air, and balloon borne instruments to fill in key gaps in the data set. The end result is a global and gap-free data set focused on aerosol extinction coefficient at 525 and 1020 nm and other parameters on an "as available" basis. For the primary data sets, we developed a new method for filling the post-Pinatubo eruption data gap for 1991–1993 based on data from the Cryogenic Limb Array Etalon Spectrometer. In addition, we developed a new method for populating wintertime high latitudes during the SAGE period employing a latitude-equivalent latitude conversion process that greatly improves the depiction of aerosol at high latitudes compared to earlier similar efforts. We report data in the troposphere only when and where it is available. This is primarily during the SAGE II period except for the most enhanced part of the Pinatubo period. It is likely that the upper troposphere during Pinatubo was greatly enhanced over non-volcanic periods and that domain remains substantially under-characterized. We note that aerosol levels during the OSIRIS/CALIPSO period in the lower stratosphere at mid- and high latitudes is routinely higher than what we observed during the SAGE II period. While this period had nearly continuous low-level volcanic activity, it is possible that the enhancement in part reflects deficiencies in the data set. We also expended substantial effort to quality assess the data set and the product is by far the best we have produced. GloSSAC version 1.0 is available in netCDF format at the NASA Atmospheric Data Center at https://eosweb.larc.nasa.gov/. GloSSAC users should cite this paper and the data set DOI (https://doi.org/10.5067/GloSSAC-L3-V1.0).


Citation: Thomason, L. W., Ernest, N., Millán, L., Rieger, L., Bourassa, A., Vernier, J.-P., Manney, G., Luo, B., Arfeuille, F., and Peter, T.: A global space-based stratospheric aerosol climatology: 1979–2016, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10, 469-492, https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-10-469-2018, 2018.
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We describe the construction of a continuous 38-year record of stratospheric aerosol optical properties. The Global Space-based Stratospheric Aerosol Climatology, or GloSSAC, provided the input data to the construction of the Climate Model Intercomparison Project stratospheric aerosol forcing data set (1979 to 2014) and is now extended through 2016. GloSSAC focuses on the the SAGE series of instruments through mid-2005 and on OSIRIS and CALIPSO after that time.
We describe the construction of a continuous 38-year record of stratospheric aerosol optical...
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