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The stratospheric composition since 2004

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BIRA-IASB is developing a data assimilation system dedicated to stratospheric composition. It combines local observations with the global view of a model to provide global analyses of the stratosphere. We applied this technique for the first time to a satellite instrument that measured ozone and ozone-related species continuously for 14 years. This reanalysis will be used, in particular, by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to produce the Ozone Bulletin that describes the chemical state of the Antarctic stratosphere during the ozone hole season.
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Since its creation, BIRA-IASB is involved in stratospheric ozone research and monitoring on many different aspects:

  • operating instruments at different measuring stations around the globe
  • developing and running retrieval codes for satellite instruments
  • modelling the stratospheric composition

The institute also owns, develops and maintains up-to-date the BASCOE data assimilation system which combines the information from real observations of stratospheric chemical constituents and from a 3-dimension model of the stratospheric composition.

Using observations from the NASA Aura satellite, it provides 6-hourly analysis of the stratospheric composition since 2009 in the framework of the EU Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS). These analyses are used, among others, by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to make its Ozone Bulletins that describe the chemical situation of the ozone layer at the end of Antarctic winters.

Why a reanalysis of the stratospheric composition?

Having a homogenized reanalysis of the stratospheric composition, covering a period of 14 years, was a request for WMO. But it has a lot additional potential.

  • For scientific modellers, such a reanalysis provides initial or boundary conditions and a dataset to evaluate their model results.
  • For scientific involved in satellite observations, the reanalysis can be helpful to understand differences between instruments, in particular their drifts over the time.
  • For scientific involved in ground-based observations, the reanalysis allows them to put their data into a more general context.

This reanalysis is now released and is freely available.

More information and download procedure on the stratospheric modelling pages.

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