Articles | Volume 26, issue 7
13 Jun 2008
 | 13 Jun 2008

Polar middle atmosphere temperature climatology from Rayleigh lidar measurements at ALOMAR (69° N)

A. Schöch, G. Baumgarten, and J. Fiedler

Abstract. Rayleigh lidar temperature profiles have been derived in the polar middle atmosphere from 834 measurements with the ALOMAR Rayleigh/Mie/Raman lidar (69.3° N, 16.0° E) in the years 1997–2005. Since our instrument is able to operate under full daylight conditions, the unique data set presented here extends over the entire year and covers the altitude region 30 km–85 km in winter and 30 km–65 km in summer. Comparisons of our lidar data set to reference atmospheres and ECMWF analyses show agreement within a few Kelvin in summer but in winter higher temperatures below 55 km and lower temperatures above by as much as 25 K, due likely to superior resolution of stratospheric warming and associated mesospheric cooling events. We also present a temperature climatology for the entire lower and middle atmosphere at 69° N obtained from a combination of lidar measurements, falling sphere measurements and ECMWF analyses. Day to day temperature variability in the lidar data is found to be largest in winter and smallest in summer.