The MEaSUREs data archival project at the NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) has announced the release of an updated data set from the Solar Backscattered Ultra-Violet (SBUV) instruments. The data set is entitled Solar Backscattered Ultra Violet (SBUV) Level-3 Monthly Zonal Mean (MZM) Data Products, and was generated by the "Creating a Long Term Multi-Sensor Ozone Data Record" project, headed by Richard McPeters from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. These data represent the latest release from the NASA Making Earth Science Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) Program.
For this data set, atmospheric ozone vertical distribution and total column ozone data were generated using the latest SBUV algorithm (v8.6). The SBUV instruments operated in space on the Nimbus 4 and Nimbus 7 satellites, and on several of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) polar-orbiting environmental satellite series.
The full text of the announcement is found here: New SBUV Ozone data from MEaSUREs available
What's a 'zonal mean'?
If you aren't familiar with the terminology used by meteorologists (scientists who study the weather), you may not know what a zonal mean is. A zonal mean is the average value of a meteorological variable averaged over a range of longitudes, i.e. east-west, for a given latitude. The zonal means in the SBUV data set are averaged globally, around the entire circumference of the Earth at each latitude. (Zonal stems from Aristotle's conception of Earth's climate as having polar zones, temperate zones, and the 'torrid zone', which is the tropics on either side of the equator).
Zonal means are most commonly utilized for wind speed data, but can be used for any meteorological variable or constituent of the Earth's atmosphere, such as for the ozone data in the SBUV data set. In the accompanying image, annual cycles of ozone depletion in the polar zones can be clearly seen. The lowest values observed in the far southern latitudes correspond to the annual development of the ozone 'hole' over Antarctica.
Averages for a range of latitudes, i.e., north-south, for a given longitude would be meriodonal means, from the geographical term for longitude lines, meridians.
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The GES DISC is a NASA earth science data center, part of the NASA Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) Project.