S. Noel, et al.
Water vapour and methane coupling in the stratosphere observed using SCIAMACHY solar occultation measurements
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18(7), 4463-4476, 2018; doi: 10.5194/acp-18-4463-2018
CH4 H20 Stratosphere SCIAMACHY


An improved stratospheric water vapour data sethas been retrieved from SCIAMACHY/ENVISAT solar occultation measurements. It is similar to that successfully applied to methane and carbon dioxide. There is now a consistent set of data products for the three constituents covering the altitudes 17–45 km, the latitude range between about 50 and 70◦N, and the period August 2002 to April 2012.The new water vapour concentration profiles agree with collocated results from ACE-FTS and MLS/Aura to within∼5 %. A significant positive linear change in water vapourfor the time 2003–2011 is observed at lower stratospheric altitudes with a value of about 0.015±0.008 ppmv year−1around 17 km. Between 30 and 37 km the changes become significantly negative (about−0.01±0.008 ppmv year−1);all errors are 2σvalues.The combined analysis of the SCIAMACHY methane and water vapour time series shows the expected anti-correlation between stratospheric methane and water vapour and a clear temporal variation related to the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation(QBO). Above about 20 km most of the additional water vapour is attributed to the oxidation of methane. In addition short-term fluctuations and longer-term variations on a timescale of 5–6 years are observed. The SCIAMACHY data confirm that at lower altitudes the amount of water vapour and methane are transported from the tropics to higher latitudes via the shallow branch of the Brewer–Dobson circulation.


  author = "S. Noel and K. Weigel and K. Bramstedt and A. Rozanov and M. Weber and H. Bovensmann and J. P. Burrows",
  title = "Water vapour and methane coupling in the stratosphere observed using SCIAMACHY solar occultation measurements",
  year = 2018,
  journal = "Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics",
  volume = 18,
  number = 7,
  pages = "4463-4476",
  month = "Apr",
  keywords = "CH4, H20, Stratosphere, SCIAMACHY",
  doi = "10.5194/acp-18-4463-2018",
  url = ""
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