Lidar observations of polar mesospheric clouds at Rothera, Antarctica (67.5 degrees S, 68.0 degrees W)
Polar mesospheric clouds (PMC) were observed by an Fe Boltzmann temperature lidar at Rothera (67.5degreesS, 68.0degreesW), Antarctica in the austral summer of 2002-2003.The Rothera PMC are much weaker, less frequent, and not as high as the PMC observed at the South Pole. The mean PMC altitude is 83.74 +/- 0.25 km, which is approximately 1.3 km lower than the South Pole clouds. A comparison of numerous cloud observations indicates that southern hemisphere PMC are about 1 km higher than northern clouds at similar latitudes. Lidar measurements also show that the mesopause region temperatures at Rothera in late January are warmer than at the South Pole, while the Fe layer at Rothera has higher density and a lower peak altitude compared to the summertime Fe layer at the South Pole. These Fe density and temperature observations are qualitatively consistent with the PMC observations.
Authors: Chu, Xinzhao, Nott, Graeme J., Espy, Patrick J., Gardner, Chester S., Diettrich, Jan C., Clilverd, Mark A., Jarvis, Martin J.