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Journal Articles Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions Year : 2024

Observations of Tropical Tropopause Layer clouds from a balloon-borne lidar

Thomas Lesigne
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François Ravetta
Vincent Mariage
Jacques Pelon

Abstract

Tropical Tropopause Layer (TTL) clouds have a significant impact on the Earth's radiative budget and regulate the amount of water vapor entering the stratosphere. During the Strateole-2 observation campaign, three microlidars were flown onboard stratospheric superpressure balloons from October 2021 to late January 2022, slowly drifting only a few kilometers above the TTL. These measurements have unprecedented sensitivity to thin cirrus and provide a fine-scale description of cloudy structures both in time and space. Case studies of collocated observations with the space-borne lidar Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) show a very good agreement between the instruments and highlight the unique ability of the microlidar to detect optically very thin clouds below CALIOP detection capacity (optical depth τ < 2 • 10 −3). Statistics on cloud occurrence show that TTL cirrus appear in more than 50 % of the microlidar profiles and have a mean geometrical depth of 1 km. Ultrathin TTL cirrus (τ < 2 • 10 −3) have a significant coverage (16 % of the profiles) and their mean geometrical depth is below 500 m.
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Dates and versions

insu-04312063 , version 1 (28-11-2023)

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Thomas Lesigne, François Ravetta, Aurélien Podglajen, Vincent Mariage, Jacques Pelon. Observations of Tropical Tropopause Layer clouds from a balloon-borne lidar. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, 2024, ⟨10.5194/egusphere-2023-2763⟩. ⟨insu-04312063⟩
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