Comparison of ozone profiles from DIAL, MLS, and chemical transport model simulations over Río Gallegos, Argentina, during the spring Antarctic vortex breakup, 2009
This study evaluates the agreement between ozone profiles derived from the ground-based differential absorption lidar (DIAL), satellite-borne Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS), and 3-D chemical transport model (CTM) simulations such as the Model for Interdisciplinary Research on Climate (MIROC-CTM) over the Atmospheric Observatory of Southern Patagonia (Observatorio Atmosférico de la Patagonia Austral, OAPA; 51.6° S, 69.3° W) in Río Gallegos, Argentina, from September to November 2009. In this austral spring, measurements were performed in the vicinity of the polar vortex and inside it on some occasions; they revealed the variability in the potential vorticity (PV) of measured air masses. Comparisons between DIAL and MLS were performed between 6 and 100 hPa with 500 km and 24 h coincidence criteria. The results show a good agreement between DIAL and MLS with mean differences of ±0.1 ppmv (MLS − DIAL, n = 180) between 6 and 56 hPa. MIROC-CTM also agrees with DIAL, with mean differences of ±0.3 ppmv (MIROC-CTM − DIAL, n = 23) between 10 and 56 hPa. Both comparisons provide mean differences of 0.5 ppmv (MLS) to 0.8–0.9 ppmv (MIROC-CTM) at the 83–100 hPa levels. DIAL tends to underestimate ozone values at this lower altitude region. Between 6 and 8 hPa, the MIROC-CTM ozone value is 0.4–0.6 ppmv (5–8 %) smaller than those from DIAL. Applying the scaled PV (sPV) criterion for matching pairs in the DIAL–MLS comparison, the variability in the difference decreases 21–47 % between 10 and 56 hPa. However, the mean differences are small for all pressure levels, except 6 hPa. Because ground measurement sites in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) are very sparse at mid- to high latitudes, i.e., 35–60° S, the OAPA site is important for evaluating the bias and long-term stability of satellite instruments. The good performance of this DIAL system will be useful for such purposes in the future.