Alternate identifier:
(KITopen-DOI) 10.5445/IR/1000086658
Related identifier:
Höpfner, Michael [Höpfner, Michael]

Stiller, Gabriele [Stiller, Gabriele]

Clarmann, Thomas von [Clarmann, Thomas von]
Deshler, Terry [Deshler, Terry]

Pitts, Michael [Pitts, Michael]

Poole, Lamont [Poole, Lamont]

Spang, Reinhold [Spang, Reinhold]
The MIPAS/Envisat climatology (2002–2012) of polar stratospheric cloud (PSC) volume density profiles
Additional titles:
(Abstract) A global data set of vertical profiles of polar stratospheric cloud (PSC) volume density has been derived from Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) space-borne infrared limb measurements between 2002 and 2012. To develop a well characterized and efficient retrieval scheme, systematic tests based on limb-radiance simulations for PSCs from in-situ balloon observations have been performed . The finally selected wavenumber range was 831–832.5 cm-1. Optical constants of nitric acid trihydrate (NAT) have been used to derive maximum and minimum profiles of volume density which are compatible with MIPAS observations under the assumption of small, non-scattering and larger, scattering PSC particles. These max/min profiles deviate from their mean value at each altitude by about 40-45%, which is attributed as the maximum systematic error of the retrieval. Further, the retrieved volume density profiles are characterized by a random error due to instrumental noise of 0.02–0.05 μm3cm-3, a detection limit of about 0.1–0.2 μm3cm-3 and a vertical resolution of around 3 km. Comparisons with co-incident observations by the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) on the CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) satellite showed good agreement regarding the vertical profile shape. Quantitatively, in the case of supercooled ternary solution (STS) PSCs, the CALIOP dataset fits to the MIPAS retrievals obtained under the assumptions of small particles. Unlike for STS and NAT, in the case of ice PSCs the MIPAS retrievals are limited by the clouds becoming optically thick in the limb-direction. In these cases, the MIPAS volume densities represent lower limits. Among other interesting features, this climatology helps to study quantitatively the on-set of PSC formation very near to the South Pole and the large variability of the PSC volume densities between different Arctic stratospheric winters.
(Technical Remarks) PSC volume density profiles retrieved from single MIPAS/Envisat limb scans. Two profiles are provided, 0: retrieved with assumption of 3um radius particles, 1: retrieved with assumption of 0.2um radius particles. These profiles are min/max limits for the volume densities with res1 < 5-10 um3 cm-3. For STS, profiles res1 are best suited. Profiles with res1 > 5-10 um3 cm-3 contain ice and in this case the real volume densities may be even larger.CAUTION: at 26 km and 28 km, retrieval instabilities may be present in case of thick ice PSCs below. For more information, see article: The MIPAS/Envisat climatology (2002–2012) of polar stratospheric cloud (PSC) volume density profiles, M. Hoepfner, T. Deshler, M. Pitts, L. Poole, R. Spang, G. Stiller, T. v. Clarmann, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 2018,
Polar stratospheric clouds
Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric sounding
MIPAS Limb-sounding
Fourier Transform Spectroscopy
Related information:
Production year:
Subject areas:
Geological Science
Resource type:
Data source:
Software used:
Data processing:
Publication year:
Rights holders:

Clarmann, Thomas von
Name Storage Metadata Upload Action

Number of views in the previous six months.

Dataset page views




Overall statistics

Period Landing page accessed Dataset downloaded
Apr 2024 26 0
Mar 2024 24 0
Feb 2024 25 0
Jan 2024 5 0
Dec 2023 6 0
Nov 2023 12 0
Before 52 0
Total 150 0
Uploaded by:
Created on:
Archiving date:
Archive size:
606.2 MB
Archive creator:
Archive checksum:
2f4ec0d2fcd25efca8c91c9aaef07a61 (MD5)
Embargo end date: