Satellite-based limb occultation measurements are well suited for the detection and mapping of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) and cirrus clouds. PSCs are of fundamental importance for the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole that occurs every year since the early 1980s in Southern Hemisphere spring. Despite progress in the observation, modeling and understanding of PSCs in recent years, there are still important questions which remain to be resolved, e.g. PSC microphysics, composition, formation mechanisms and long-term changes in occurrence. In addition, it has recently become clear that cirrus clouds significantly affect the global energy balance and climate, due to their influence on atmospheric thermal structure.
Since 2002, two major space missions using the occultation method have been put into orbit: the European stellar occultation spectrometer GOMOS on board ENVISAT and the Canadian solar occultation instruments ACE-FTS/MAESTRO on board SCISAT-I.
PSCs and cirrus clouds are detected both by ACE and GOMOS. The results of an intercomparison between retrieved aerosol extinction, PSCs and cirrus clouds are the subject of this paper. The cloud data are also used to examine the evolution of PSCs over the Antarctic vortex and the latitudinal variation of tropical cirrus for the years 2004 and 2005. (C) 2007 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Cirrus clouds
- Remote sensing
- SAGE-II OBSERVATIONS
- CIRRUS CLOUDS