Study on the impact of polar stratospheric clouds on high resolution mid-IR limb emission spectra

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Satellite observations of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) in the mid-infrared by high resolution limb emission spectrometers like the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding have been simulated. For particles with radius >1 μm the scattered tropospheric radiance accounts for a significant part of the continuum signal and leads to absorption line features overlaid over the stratospheric emission spectrum. The scattered radiance shows a strong dependence on particle size up to about 7 μm radius with a maximum around 3-4 μm. The contribution of scattered radiation depends heavily on tropospheric cloud coverage and earth surface temperature. Distinction of PSCs of different composition is possible for small particles (<1 μm) due to differences in the imaginary part of the refractive index. For particles with radii between 1 and 5 μm the simulated spectra for various PSC compositions differ due to different real parts of the refractive index. For larger particles no distinction is possible any more. Solar radiance scattered by PSCs is important for wavenumbers larger than about 1700 cm-1. For a forward scattering geometry with 30° between the position of the sun and the limb viewing direction solar contribution exceeds the terrestrial scattered radiation by about a factor of 10. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.




Höpfhner, M. (2004). Study on the impact of polar stratospheric clouds on high resolution mid-IR limb emission spectra. Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer, 83(1), 93–107.

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