Aura MLS


Contact: Michael Schwartz

Temperature plays central roles throughout atmospheric science. It is a key parameter in the radiative balance of the atmosphere.

Temperature at a given pressure determines density and thus buoyancy, driving dynamics on all scales. Temperature controls chemical reaction rates and radiative transfer. Temperature is critically important in the hydrological cycle, controlling of cloud formation and the distribution of humidity.

MLS measurements of atmospheric composition require knowledge of temperature, but at the frequencies of MLS observations, thermal emission is roughly linear in gas temperature, so small fractional errors in inferred absolute temperature generally lead to correspondingly small errors in inferred constituent abundance.

How it is part of MLS Science Objectives

Temperature measurements are vitally important for addressing questions of radiative balance involved in climate change. Upper tropospheric temperature is particularly important to climate feedbacks involving the regulation of humidity and clouds.

Some models show temperature in the mesosphere to be particularly sensitive to climate change. Temperatures required for the formation of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) are at the extreme low end of those found in the northern polar winter.

PSCs play multiple roles in the catalytic destruction of ozone, and here MLS mission objectives of understanding stratospheric ozone layer stability and climate change are linked through temperature.

How EOS MLS measures Temperature

MLS temperature is retrieved primarily frombands near O2 spectral lines at 118GHz and 239GHz that aremeasured with MLS radiometers R1A/B and R3, respectively. Thee isotopic 239GHz line is the primary source of temperature information in the troposphere, while the 118GHz line is the primary source of temperature in the stratosphere and above.

Quick Product Information for data version v5

  • Swath Name: Temperature
  • Status Flag: Only use profiles for which the Status field is an even number.
  • Useful Range: 261 - 0.00046 hPa
  • DAAC Short Name: ML2T
  • Precision: See v5 data quality document.
  • Quality Threshold: See v5 data quality document.
  • Convergence Threshold: <1.03

Download Aura MLS Temperature v5 data

Latest Publications (Temperature)

  1. Khaykin, S., E. Moyer, M. Krämer, B. Clouser, S. Bucci, B. Legras, A. Lykov, A. Afchine, F. Cairo, I. Formanyuk, V. Mitev, R. Matthey, C. Rolf, C. Singer, N. Spelten, V. Volkov, V. Yushkov and F. Stroh
    Persistence of moist plumes from overshooting convection in the Asian monsoon anticyclone
    Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. doi:10.5194/acp-2021-653, in review
  2. Athreyas, K.N., R. Garcia and A. Chandran
    Inter‐Hemispheric Coupling During Sudden Stratospheric Warming Events With Elevated Stratopause
    Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres doi:10.1029/2020jd033761, 2022
  3. Dalin, P., H. Suzuki, N. Pertsev, V. Perminov, D. Efremov, P. Voelger, V.L. Narayanan, I. Mann, I. Häggström, M. Zalcik, O. Ugolnikov, J. Hedin, J. Gumbel, R. Latteck and G. Baumgarten
    Studies of noctilucent clouds from the stratosphere during the SONC balloon-borne experiment in 2021
    J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys. doi:10.1016/j.jastp.2022.105959, 2022
  4. Eswaraiah, S., K. Seo, K. Kumar, M. Ratnam, A. Koval, J. Jeong, C. Mengist, Y. Lee, K. Greer, J. Hwang, W. Lee, M. Pramitha, G.V. Chalapathi, M.V. Reddy and Y. Kim
    Anthropogenic Influence on the Antarctic Mesospheric Cooling Observed during the Southern Hemisphere Minor Sudden Stratospheric Warming
    Atmosphere doi:10.3390/atmos13091475, 2022
  5. Harvey, V.L., N. Pedatella, E. Becker and C. Randall
    Evaluation of Polar Winter Mesopause Wind in WACCMX+DART
    Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres doi:10.1029/2022jd037063, 2022
  6. Hindley, N., N. Mitchell, N. Cobbett, A. Smith, D. Fritts, D. Janches, C. Wright and T. Moffat-Griffin
    Radar observations of winds, waves and tides in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere over South Georgia island (54° S, 36° W) and comparison with WACCM simulations
    Atmos. Chem. Phys. 10.5194/acp-22-9435-2022, 2022
  7. Koshin, D., M. Kohma and K. Sato
    Characteristics of the Intraseasonal Oscillation in the Equatorial Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere Region Revealed by Satellite Observation and Global Analysis by the JAGUAR Data Assimilation System
    Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres doi:10.1029/2022jd036816, 2022
  8. Kumar, A.H., M.V. Ratnam and C. Jain
    Influence of background dynamics on the vertical distribution of trace gases CO/WV/O3 in the UTLS region during COVID-19 lockdown over India
  9. Liu, G., D. Janches, J. Ma, R. Lieberman, G. Stober, T. Moffat‐Griffin, N. Mitchell, J. Kim, C. Lee and D. Murphy
    Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere Winds and Tidal Variations During the 2019 Antarctic Sudden Stratospheric Warming
    Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics doi:10.1029/2021ja030177, 2022
  10. Pedatella, N.M. and V.L. Harvey
    Impact of Strong and Weak Stratospheric Polar Vortices on the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere
    Geophys. Res. Lett. doi:10.1029/2022gl098877, 2022