Effect of marine stratocumulus on TOMS ozone

A. M. Thompson, D. P. McNamara, K. E. Pickering, R. D. McPeters

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44 Scopus citations


The algorithm used to correct total O3 from the total ozone mapping spectrometer (TOMS) for cloud effects is based on the measured reflectivity, a climatological cloud top height, and an assumed tropospheric O3 column amount below clouds. In regions of persistent subtropical marine stratocumulus it is assumed that this introduces a positive error into total O3 because these clouds are lower than the assumed mean cloud height used in the algorithm. This appears to be confirmed by high correlation between Nimbus 7 TOMS total O3 and reflectivity data for typical regimes of persistent stratus, as identified by the international satellite cloud climatology project (ISCCP) observations. The TOMS total O3 overestimate has been computed using Nimbus 7/solar backscattered ultraviolet total O3 derived using temperature humidity infrared radiometer (THIR) data for years 1979-1984. A functional relationship between the THIR/non-THIR total O3 difference and reflectivity is used with TOMS reflectivity to modify Nimbus 7 TOMS O3 data for selected regions and periods. The correction diminishes or eliminates a number of apparent O3 maxima, with reductions of up to 20 Dobson units (DU) in total O3 on daily maps and ~5 DU on monthly mean O3 maps. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23,051-23,057
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberD12
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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