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Feofilov, A. G.; Kutepov, A. A.; She, C.-Y.; Smith, A. K.; Pesnell, W. D.; Goldberg, R. A. (2012)
Publisher: Copernicus Publications
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Chemistry, QD1-999, Physics, QC1-999
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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