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Geophysical validation of temperature retrieved by the ESA Level 2 processor from MIPAS/ENVISAT measurements

Marco Ridolfi(1), Ulrich Blum(2), Bruno Carli(3), Valery Catoire(4), Simone Ceccherini(5), Carmela Cornacchia(6), Coralie De Clercq(7), Karl H. Fricke(8), Marco Iarlori(9), Brian Kerridge(10), Michael Kiefer(11), Jean-Chritopher Lambert(7), Yasjka Meijer(12), Lucia Mona(13), Hermann Oelhaf(11), Gelsomina Pappalardo(13), Chiara Piccolo(14), Michel Pirre(4), Piera Raspollini(3), Vincenzo Rizi(9), Claude Robert(4), Daan Swart(12), Thomas von Clarmann(11), Ding-Yi Wang(11), Alison Waterfall(15) and Gerald Wetzel(11)

(1) Università di Bologna, Viale Risorgimento 4 , 40136 Bologna, Italy
(2) Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt, Postboks 25, N-2027, Norway
(3) IFAC - CNR, Via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy
(4) LPCE - CNRS, 3A Avenue de la Recherche Scientifique, 45071 Orleans, France
(5) IFAC - CNR, Via Madonna del Piano 10, 50019 Firenze, Italy
(6) IMAA - CNR, Tito Scalo, 85050 Potenza, Italy
(7) IASB - BIRA, Avenue Circulaire 3, 1180 Bruxelles, Belgium
(8) University of Bonn, Nussallee 12, D-53115 Bonn, Germany
(9) Università de L'Aquila, Via Vetoio Località Coppito, 67010 L'Aquila, Italy
(10) CCLRC - RAL, Chilton Didcot, OX11 Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
(11) IMK, P.O. Box 3640, 76021 Karlsruhe, Germany
(12) RIVM - LVM, Postbus 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, Netherlands
(13) IMAA - CNR, Tito Scalo, I-85050 Potenza, Italy
(14) University of Oxford, Parks Road, OX1 3PU Oxford, United Kingdom
(15) CCLRC - RAL, Chilton Didcot, OX11 0QX Oxfordshire, United Kingdom


The Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) is operating on the ESA ENVIronmental SATellite since March 2002. The high resolution (0.025 cm-1) measurements acquired by MIPAS in the first two years of operations constitute a self-consistent set of data with very good geographical and time coverage. These measurements have been re-processed by ESA up to Level 2, with the most recent versions of both Level 1b and Level 2 algorithms. The products of the ESA Level 2 algorithm are geolocated profiles of temperature and of volume mixing ratio of six key atmospheric constituents: H2O, O3, HNO3, CH4, N2O and NO2. As for all the measurements made with innovative instruments and techniques, this data set requires a thorough validation. During the last year, a large team of European scientists spent great efforts in the validation of this data set (technically labelled with versions 4.61 and 4.62). In particular, the authors of this paper have focused their activities on the validation of temperature. The validation was carried-out by comparing MIPAS retrieved temperature with correlative measurements made by radiosondes, lidars, in-situ and remote sensors operated either from stratospheric balloons or satellites. Preliminary results show that MIPAS profiles are affected by a bias generally smaller than 1K. This bias is usually localized at the edges of the altitude range covered by the MIPAS scan (6 – 68 km). As already pointed-out by several authors [see e.g. Rodgers C. D. and Connor B. J., J. Geophys. Res. 108, 4116 – 4130 (2003)] the intercomparison of measurements acquired by instruments that have different characteristics is not a trivial task and requires specific techniques to be used. Therefore in this paper we illustrate both the techniques adopted for the intercomparison of measurements relating to instruments with different spatial response functions and the results of such an extensive validation work.


Full paper

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry