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Microwave Limb Sounder


The Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) experiments measure naturally-occurring microwave thermal emission from the limb (edge) of Earth's atmosphere to remotely sense vertical profiles of atmospheric gases, temperature, pressure, and cloud ice. The overall objective of these experiments is to provide information that will help improve our understanding of Earth's atmosphere and global change.


Start Date
End Date
N2O GPH Temperature HNO3 All


Current GMT day:    
Maps @ 46hPa; SO2 @ 147hPa and CO @ 215hPa

Latest Publications

  1. Prather, M., J. Hsu, N. DeLuca, C. Jackman, L. Oman, A. Douglass, E. Fleming, S. Strahan, S. Steenrod, O.A. Søvde, I. Isaksen, L. Froidevaux, and B. Funke, "Measuring and modeling the lifetime of nitrous oxide including its variability," Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 120, 10.1002/2015jd023267, 2015.   reprint  

  2. Bossay, S., S. Bekki, M. Marchand, V. Poulain, and R. Toumi, "Sensitivity of tropical stratospheric ozone to rotational UV variations estimated from UARS and Aura MLS observations during the declining phases of solar cycles 22 and 23," J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys. 130-131, 96-111, 10.1016/j.jastp.2015.05.014, 2015.   reprint  

  3. Strahan, S.E., L.D.O.A.R. Douglass, and L. Coy, "Modulation of Antarctic vortex composition by the quasi-biennial oscillation," Geophys. Res. Lett. 42, 4216–4223, doi:10.1002/2015GL063759, 2015.

  4. Mahesh, P., P. Sujatha, C.B.S. Dutt, and S. Jose, "Comparative study of the tropospheric ozone derived from satellite data using different interpolation techniques," Int. Jnl. Remote Sensing 36, 9, 2409-2420, 10.1080/01431161.2015.1041621, 2015.   reprint  

  5. Yan, R.C., and J.C. Bian, "Tracing the boundary layer sources of carbon monoxide in the Asian summer monsoon anticyclone using WRF-Chem," Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 32, 7, 943-951, 10.1007/s00376-014-4130-3, 2015.   reprint  

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MLS v4 Data Released to the Public

The science team for the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) on the Aura satellite is pleased to announce the release of a new MLS "Version 4.2" dataset. Notable improvements for v4.2, compared to the earlier v3.3/v3.4 data, include a significant reduction in the severity and frequency of cloud impacts on the ozone, carbon monoxide and nitric acid products (mainly affecting the tropical upper troposphere); a greater yield of useful OH observations from more recent years in the mission; and a new methanol product (for which further validation is planned).

MLS v4.2 (and earlier) data are available from the NASA GES-DISC. Users are urged to read the MLS v4.2 data quality document (available from the same location) and encouraged to contact the MLS science team with any questions. Reprocessing of the 10-year MLS record with the v4.2 algorithms is underway and is estimated to be completed in early 2016. "Forward processing" of ongoing MLS observations has also been updated to v4.2. Forward processing with earlier (v3.4 and v2.3) algorithms will be discontinued after June 30th, 2015.

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