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Retrievals of the water vapor content in the upper troposphere and the lower stratosphere from SCIAMACHY limb measurements

Alexei Rozanov(1), Mark Weber(1), Heinrich Bovensmann(1) and John Burrows(1)

(1) University of Bremen, P.O. Box 33 04 40, D-28334 Bremen, Germany


Stratospheric water vapor plays an important role in determining radiative and chemical properties of the middle atmosphere. Furthermore, it can be used as tracer when studying the exchange between the stratosphere and the troposphere as well as large scale circulations. The major source of the global information on the stratospheric water vapor provide satellite measurements. In the previous studies, measurements of the solar radiation transmitted through the atmosphere, measurements of the emitted radiance in the thermal infrared spectral range, or microwave techniques were used to retrieve stratospheric water vapor amounts.

This study presents a novel approach allowing the vertical distributions of the stratospheric water vapor to be retrieved from the measurements of the scattered solar radiation in the near infra red spectral range as performed by the Scanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY (SCIAMACHY) in limb viewing geometry. We present a retrieval algorithm capable to gain the vertical distributions of the water vapor in the lower stratosphere and upper troposphere (between about 12 and 23 km) from SCIAMACHY limb measurements. The sensitivity of the retrieval algorithm is investigated. The retrieved vertical distributions of the water vapor are compared to the results of independent measurements (remote and in situ) and to the model simulations.


Workshop presentation