Lidar measurements of thermal structure


Rayleigh backscatter observations at 532 nm and 355 nm of relative atmospheric density above Aberystwyth on a total of 93 nights between Dec. 1982 and Feb. 1985 were used to derive the height variation of temperature in the upper stratosphere and mesosphere. Preliminary results for height up to about 25 km were also obtained from observations of Raman backscattering from nitrogen molecules. Comparisons were carried out for stratospheric heights with satellite borne measurements; good agreement was found between equivalent black body temperatures derived from the lidar observations and those obtained from nadir measurements in three channels of the stratosphere sounder units on NOAA satellites; the lidar based atmospheric temperatures have shown general agreement with but a greater degree of structure than the limb sounding measurements obtained using the SAMS experiment on the NOAA-7 satellite. In summer, stratospheric and mesospheric temperatures showed a smooth height variation similar to that of the CIRA model atmosphere. In contrast, the winter data showed a great variability with height, and marked temperature changes both from night to night and within a given night

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