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CO22)-O quenching rate coefficient derived from coincidental SABER/TIMED and Fort Collins lidar observations of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere

Abstract : Among the processes governing the energy balance in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT), the quenching of CO22) vibrational levels by collisions with O atoms plays an important role. However, there is a factor of 3-4 discrepancy between the laboratory measurements of the CO2-O quenching rate coefficient, kVT, and its value estimated from the atmospheric observations. In this study, we retrieve kVT in the altitude region 85-105 km from the coincident SABER/TIMED and Fort Collins sodium lidar observations by minimizing the difference between measured and simulated broadband limb 15 μm radiation. The averaged kVT value obtained in this work is 6.5 ± 1.5 × 10-12 cm3 s-1 that is close to other estimates of this coefficient from the atmospheric observations. However, the retrieved kVT also shows altitude dependence and varies from 5.5 ± 1.1 × 10-12 cm3 s-1 at 90 km to 7.9 ± 1.2 × 10-12 cm3 s-1 at 105 km. Obtained results demonstrate the deficiency in current non-LTE modeling of the atmospheric 15 μm radiation, based on the application of the CO2-O quenching and excitation rates, which are linked by the detailed balance relation. We discuss the possible model improvements, among them accounting for the interaction of the "non-thermal" oxygen atoms with CO2 molecules.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-03621706
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A. G. Feofilov, A. A. Kutepov, C. -y. She, A. K. Smith, W. D. Pesnell, et al.. CO22)-O quenching rate coefficient derived from coincidental SABER/TIMED and Fort Collins lidar observations of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, European Geosciences Union, 2012, 12, pp.9013-9023. ⟨10.5194/acp-12-9013-2012⟩. ⟨insu-03621706⟩

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