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Original Research Papers

A climatological study of polar stratospheric clouds (1989–1997) from LIDAR measurements over Dumont d’Urville (Antarctica)

Authors:

Vincenzo Santacesaria ,

Istituto di Ricerca sulle Onde Elettromagnetiche, CNR, IT
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A. Robertmackenzie,

Environmental Science Department, Lancaster University, GB
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Leopoldo Stefanutti

Istituto di Ricerca sulle Onde Elettromagnetiche, CNR, IT
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Abstract

Backscatter lidar data from the French Antarctic base in Dumont d’Urville (66.40°S, 140.01°E), including aerosol background and observations of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs), have been collected since 1989. In the present work we present a climatological study of PSCs, using a data base consisting of almost 90 observations. The seasonal evolution of PSCs, their optical classification, and their relationship with the observation temperature were studied. The first PSC was observed on day number 175 (15 June) and the last on day number 260 (7 September). The characteristic mid-cloud altitude decreases through the season at a rate of 2.5 km/month. Type Ia, Ib, and II PSCs — identified by their optical properties — have been observed. External mixtures of these types have also been observed. These observations have been related to the local temperature measured by radiosondes. The relationship between PSC type and the period of the winter season was also investigated. Mixed (solid and liquid) type I clouds are mostly observed at the beginning of the winter. Type II clouds are observed only during the coldest period around midwinter, although temperatures below the frost point begin earlier and persist longer than this. Type Ia, solid-particle, clouds are observed mostly at the end of the winter.

How to Cite: Santacesaria, V., Robertmackenzie, A. and Stefanutti, L., 2001. A climatological study of polar stratospheric clouds (1989–1997) from LIDAR measurements over Dumont d’Urville (Antarctica). Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, 53(3), pp.306–321. DOI: http://doi.org/10.3402/tellusb.v53i3.16598
  Published on 01 Jan 2001
 Accepted on 8 Dec 2000            Submitted on 18 Nov 1999

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