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Trajectory matching of ozonesondes and MOZAIC measurements in the UTLS – Part 2: Application to the global ozonesonde network

Author(s): J. Staufer | J. Staehelin | R. Stübi | T. Peter | F. Tummon | V. Thouret

Journal: Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions
ISSN 1867-8610

Volume: 6;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 7099;
Date: 2013;
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Ozone, an important greenhouse gas, has the largest climate forcing in the tropopause region, meaning that knowledge of long-term ozone changes in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere (UTLS) is particularly important. Here, we perform a 16 yr comparison (1994–2009) of UTLS ozone measurements from balloon-borne ozonesondes and MOZAIC (measurements of ozone, water vapor, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides by in-service Airbus aircraft). The analysis uses trajectories computed from ERA-Interim wind fields to find matches between the two measurement platforms. Ozonesonde data quality is most critical in the UTLS, where natural variability is high, particularly close to the tropopause. On average, at the 28 launch sites considered, ozone mixing ratios measured by the sondes exceed MOZAIC data by 5–15%, with differences being smaller in the LS than in the UT at many launch sites. For most sites, sondes and MOZAIC data are in close agreement after 1998. Before 1998 ozone mixing ratios measured by the Brewer–Mast (BM) sondes and Electrochemical Concentration Cell (ECC) sondes are systematically (up to 20%) higher than the MOZAIC UV photometers. The reason for this large difference remains unclear. Results also show that after 1998 large background current signals may affect ozonesonde performance, limiting the determination of reliable ozone trends in the UTLS. Sonde measurements appear to be insensitive to changing the type of ECC ozonesonde, provided the cathode sensing solution strength remains unchanged. Only Scoresbysund (Greenland) showed systematically higher readings after changing from Science Pump Corporation sondes to ENSCI Corporation sondes, while keeping a 1.0% KI cathode electrolyte. This suggests that ECC sondes, provided their background current and sensing solutions are properly monitored, are robust and reliable tools for ozone trend studies in the UTLS.

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