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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. Ern, M., Q. Trinh, M. Kaufmann, I. Krisch, P. Preusse, J. Ungermann, Y. Zhu, J. Gille, M. Mlynczak, J. Russell III, M. Schwartz, and M. Riese, "Satellite observations of middle atmosphere gravity wave absolute momentum flux and of its vertical gradient during recent stratospheric warmings," Atmos. Chem. Phys. 16, 15, 9983-10019, doi:10.5194/acp-16-9983-2016, 2016.   reprint  

  2. Siskind, D., G. Nedoluha, F. Sassi, P. Rong, S. Bailey, M. Hervig, and C. Randall, "Persistence of upper stratospheric wintertime tracer variability into the Arctic spring and summer," Atmos. Chem. Phys. 16, 12, 7957-7967, doi:10.5194/acp-16-7957-2016, 2016.   reprint  

  3. Field, R., G.D. van Werf, T. Fanin, E. Fetzer, R. Fuller, H. Jethva, R. Levy, N. Livesey, M. Luo, O. Torres, and H. Worden, "Indonesian fire activity and smoke pollution in 2015 show persistent nonlinear sensitivity to El NiƱo-induced drought," Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. undefined, 201524888, doi:10.1073/pnas.1524888113, 2016.   reprint  

  4. Xie, F., J. Li, W. Tian, X. Zhou, and X. Ma, "The Variations in Middle and Upper Stratospheric Water Vapour over the Past Two Decades," SOLA 12, 0, 127-134, doi:10.2151/sola.2016-028, 2016.   reprint  

  5. Jones, A., J. Haywood, A. Jones, and V. Aquila, "Sensitivity of volcanic aerosol dispersion to meteorological conditions: A Pinatubo case study," Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 121, 12, 6892-6908, doi:10.1002/2016jd025001, 2016.   reprint  

> More Publications

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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