Validation of SMILES HCl profiles over a wide range from the stratosphere to the lower thermosphere
Peer reviewed, Journal article
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionAtmospheric Measurement Techniques. 2020, 13, 6837-6852. 10.5194/amt-13-6837-2020
Hydrogen chloride (HCl) is the most abundant (more than 95 %) among inorganic chlorine compounds Cly in the upper stratosphere. The HCl molecule is observed to obtain long-term quantitative estimations of the total budget of the stratospheric chlorine compounds. In this study, we provided HCl vertical profiles at altitudes of 16–100 km using the Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES) from space. The HCl vertical profile from the upper troposphere to the lower thermosphere is reported for the first time from SMILES observations; the data quality is quantified by comparison with other measurements and via theoretical error analysis. We used the SMILES level-2 research product version 3.0.0. The period of the SMILES HCl observation was from 12 October 2009 to 21 April 2010, and the latitude coverage was 40∘ S–65∘ N. The average HCl vertical profile showed an increase with altitude up to the stratopause (∼ 45 km), approximately constant values between the stratopause and the upper mesosphere (∼ 80 km), and a decrease from the mesopause to the lower thermosphere (∼ 100 km). This behavior was observed in all latitude regions and reproduced by the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model in the specified dynamics configuration (SD-WACCM). We compared the SMILES HCl vertical profiles in the stratosphere and lower mesosphere with HCl profiles from Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) on the Aura satellite, as well as from the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS) on SCISAT and the TErahertz and submillimeter LImb Sounder (TELIS) (balloon borne). The TELIS observations were performed using the superconductive limb emission technique, as used by SMILES. The globally averaged vertical HCl profiles of SMILES agreed well with those of MLS and ACE-FTS within 0.25 and 0.2 ppbv between 20 and 40 km (within 10 % between 30 and 40 km; there is a larger discrepancy below 30 km), respectively. The SMILES HCl concentration was smaller than those of MLS and ACE-FTS as the altitude increased from 40 km, and the difference was approximately 0.4–0.5 ppbv (12 %–15 %) at 50–60 km. The difference between SMILES and TELIS HCl observations was about 0.3 ppbv in the polar winter region between 20 and 34 km, except near 26 km. SMILES HCl error sources that may cause discrepancies with the other observations are investigated by a theoretical error analysis. We calculated errors caused by the uncertainties of spectroscopic parameters, instrument functions, and atmospheric temperature profiles. The Jacobian for the temperature explains the negative bias of the SMILES HCl concentrations at 50–60 km.