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Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) Data Overview

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Summary of the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) Data

The Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) data represent the primary long-term, continuous record of satellite-based observations available for use in monitoring global and regional trends in total ozone over the past 25 years. TOMS also provides measurements of tropospheric aerosols volcanic SO2, ultraviolet irradiance, erythemal UV exposure, and effective reflectivity from the Earth's surface and clouds. The data are produced by the Laboratory for Atmospheres at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Four TOMS instruments have been successfully flown in orbit aboard the Nimbus-7 (Nov. 1978 - May 1993), Meteor-3 (Aug. 1991 - Dec. 1994), Earth Probe (July 1996 - current), and ADEOS (Sep. 1996 - June 1997) satellites. New version 8 TOMS data products are available from the Goddard Earth Sciences Distributed Active Archive Center (GES DAAC). These include level 3 gridded data (1.0° x 1.25°), which are available on a two-disk DVD-ROM set, as well as level 2 instrument resolution data (between 50km x 50km and 26km x 26km pixel at nadir). At this time, the data are from the Nimbus-7 and Earth Probe TOMS instruments.

WARNING: EP TOMS is experiencing calibration problem. For data beginning in year 2000, the calibration has been stabilized relative to NOAA-16 SBUV/2 in the equatorial zone. Because of continuing changes in the optical properties of the front scan mirror that are not well understood, data are showing a latitude dependent error that cannot be corrected by a simple calibration correction. The calibration appears to be stable near the equator. But by 50 degrees latitude, there is now a -2% to -4% error in TOMS, a bit larger in the northern hemisphere than in the southern hemisphere. Because of this error, data since 2002 should NOT be used for trend analysis.

The principle investigator for TOMS is Dr. Richard McPeters ( For more information about TOMS, please see the official TOMS web site (

The Version-8 Algorithm Theoretial Basis Document (ATBD)is also available from the TOMS site:

Data access is available through:

For further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Last updated: Oct 07, 2010 12:35 PM ET