Comparison of MkIV balloon and ER-2 aircraft measurements of atmospheric trace gases

G. C. Toon, J. F. Blavier, B. Sen, J. J. Margitan, C. R. Webster, R. D. May, D. Fahey, R. Gao, L. Del Negro, M. Proffitt, J. Elkins, P. A. Romashkin, D. F. Hurst, S. Oltmans, E. Atlas, S. Schauffler, F. Flocke, T. P. Bui, R. M. Stimpfle, G. P. BonneP. B. Voss, R. C. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


On May 8, 1997, vertical profiles of over 30 different gases were measured remotely in solar occultation by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory MkIV Interferometer during a balloon flight launched from Fairbanks, Alaska. These gases included H2O, N2O, CH4, CO, NOx, NOy, HCl, ClNO3, CCl2F2, CCl3F, CCl4, CHClF2, CClF2CCl2F, SF6, CH3Cl, and C2H6, all of which were also measured in situ by instruments on board the NASA ER-2 aircraft, which was making flights from Fairbanks during this same early May time period as part of the Photochemistry of Ozone Loss in the Arctic Region in Summer (POLARIS) experiment. A comparison of the gas volume mixing ratios in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere reveals agreement better than 5% for most gases. The three significant exceptions to this are SF6 and CCl4 for which the remote measurements exceed the in situ observations by 15-20% at all altitudes, and H2O for which the remote measurements are up to 30% smaller than the in situ observations near the hygropause.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1999JD900379
Pages (from-to)26779-26790
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue numberD21
StatePublished - Nov 20 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Palaeontology


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