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On the consistency of ozone profile data from Envisat, historical satellites and the NDACC network

Coralie De Clercq(1), Jean-Christopher Lambert(1), José Granville(1) and Sophie Vandenbussche(1)

(1) Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Avenue Circulaire 3, 1180 Brussels, Belgium

Abstract

Atmospheric ozone is one of the Essential Climate Variables (ECV) for which consolidated, long-term data records are required. With its three atmospheric ozone profilers, Envisat adds significantly to ozone profile data series initiated with the establishment of coordinated ground-based networks in the 1970s, and with solar occultation satellites in the 1980s. In this study, ground-based networks of ozonesonde and lidar NDACC stations are used as a standard transfer to investigate the consistency of Envisat ozone profile data, of historical data records from SAGE II, UARS and POAM II, and of more contemporary POAM III and ACE data. The comparisons reveal temporal, vertical and meridian features of interest, and they highlight issues to be addressed for further harmonisation of long-term ozone profile data record. Except a few cases where long-term drifts are detected, the agreement is stable along the respective satellite measurement periods. The analysis concludes to a mutual consistency of the data sets of 7%±10% (mean ± standard deviation) in the stratosphere. However, at some altitudes and latitudes a permanent bias is observed. Below a threshold altitude, the mean difference between satellite and ground-based data increases up to 20% and the associated standard deviation increases up to 30%. This altitude, under which data quality degrades statistically, varies from 10 to 20 km depending on latitude and measurement technique. Finally, this paper confirms the efficiency of ground-based networks as standard transfer to investigate the long-term and pseudo-global consistency of contiguous ozone profile data records from different instruments and platforms.