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See detailMeasurements of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and acetylene (C2H2) from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI)
Duflot, V.; Hurtmans, D.; Clarisse, L. et al

in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (2013), 6

Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and acetylene (C2H2) are ubiquitous atmospheric trace gases with medium lifetime, which are frequently used as indicators of combustion sources and as tracers for atmospheric ... [more ▼]

Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and acetylene (C2H2) are ubiquitous atmospheric trace gases with medium lifetime, which are frequently used as indicators of combustion sources and as tracers for atmospheric transport and chemistry. Because of their weak infrared absorption, overlapped by the CO2 Q branch near 720 cm−1, nadir sounders have up to now failed to measure these gases routinely. Taking into account CO2 line mixing, we provide for the first time extensive measurements of HCN and C2H2 total columns at Reunion Island (21° S, 55° E) and Jungfraujoch (46° N, 8° E) in 2009–2010 using observations from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI). A first order comparison with local ground-based Fourier transform InfraRed (FTIR) measurements has been carried out allowing tests of seasonal consistency which is reasonably captured, except for HCN at Jungfraujoch. The IASI data shows a greater tendency to high C2H2 values. We also examine a nonspecific biomass burning plume over austral Africa and show that the emission ratios with respect to CO agree with previously reported values. [less ▲]

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See detailValidation of IASI FORLI carbon monoxide retrievals using FTIR data from NDACC
Kerzenmacher, T; Dils, B; Kumps, N et al

in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (2012), 5

Carbon monoxide (CO) is retrieved daily and globally from space-borne IASI radiance spectra using the Fast Optimal Retrievals on Layers for IASI (FORLI) software developed at the Université Libre de ... [more ▼]

Carbon monoxide (CO) is retrieved daily and globally from space-borne IASI radiance spectra using the Fast Optimal Retrievals on Layers for IASI (FORLI) software developed at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). The IASI CO total column product for 2008 from the most recent FORLI retrieval version (20100815) is evaluated using correlative CO profile products retrieved from groundbased solar absorption Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) observations at the following FTIR spectrometer sites from the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC): Ny-Alesund, Kiruna, Bremen, Jungfraujoch, Izana and Wollongong. In order to have good statistics for the comparisons, we included all IASI data from the same day, within a 100 km radius around the ground-based stations. The individual ground-based data were adjusted to the lowest altitude of the co-located IASI CO profiles. To account for the different vertical resolutions and sensitivities of the ground-based and satellite measurements, the averaging kernels associated with the various retrieved products have been used to properly smooth coincident data products. It has been found that the IASI CO total column products compare well on average with the co-located ground-based FTIR total columns at the selected NDACC sites and that there is no significant bias for the mean values at all stations. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalysis of stratospheric NO2 trends above Jungfraujoch using ground-based UV-visible, FTIR, and satellite nadir observations
Hendrick, F; Mahieu, Emmanuel ULg; Bodeker, G E et al

in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (2012), 12

The trend in stratospheric NO2 column at the NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change) station of Jungfraujoch (46.5°N, 8.0°E) is assessed using ground-based FTIR and zenith ... [more ▼]

The trend in stratospheric NO2 column at the NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change) station of Jungfraujoch (46.5°N, 8.0°E) is assessed using ground-based FTIR and zenith-scattered visible sunlight SAOZ measurements over the period 1990 to 2009 as well as a composite satellite nadir data set constructed from ERS-2/GOME, ENVISAT/SCIAMACHY, and METOP-A/GOME-2 observations over the 1996–2009 period. To calculate the trends, a linear least squares regression model including explanatory variables for a linear trend, the mean annual cycle, the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO), solar activity, and stratospheric aerosol loading is used. For the 1990–2009 period, statistically indistinguishable trends of -3.7±1.1%/decade and -3.6±0.9%/decade are derived for the SAOZ and FTIR NO2 column time series, respectively. SAOZ, FTIR, and satellite nadir data sets show a similar decrease over the 1996–2009 period, with trends of -2.4±1.1%/decade, -4.3±1.4%/decade, and -3.6±2.2%/decade, respectively. The fact that these declines are opposite in sign to the globally observed +2.5%/decade trend in N2O, suggests that factors other than N2O are driving the evolution of stratospheric NO2 at northern mid-latitudes. Possible causes of the decrease in stratospheric NO2 columns have been investigated. The most likely cause is a change in the NO2/NO partitioning in favor of NO, due to a possible stratospheric cooling and a decrease in stratospheric chlorine content, the latter being further confirmed by the negative trend in the ClONO2 column derived from FTIR observations at Jungfraujoch. Decreasing ClO concentrations slows the NO+ ClO -> NO2 + Cl reaction and a stratospheric cooling slows the NO+O3 -> NO2 +O2 reaction, leaving more NOx in the form of NO. The slightly positive trends in ozone estimated from ground- and satellitebased data sets are also consistent with the decrease of NO2 through the NO2 +O3 -> NO3 +O2 reaction. Finally, we cannot rule out the possibility that a strengthening of the Dobson-Brewer circulation, which reduces the time available for N2O photolysis in the stratosphere, could also contribute to the observed decline in stratospheric NO2 above Jungfraujoch. [less ▲]

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See detailNORS: Demonstration Network Of ground-based Remote Sensing observations in support of the GMES atmospheric service
De Mazière, M; Hocke, K; Richter, A et al

Poster (2012, September 17)

NORS (Demonstration Network Of ground-based Remote Sensing Observations in support of the GMES Atmospheric Service) aims at demonstrating the value of ground – based remote sensing data from the Network ... [more ▼]

NORS (Demonstration Network Of ground-based Remote Sensing Observations in support of the GMES Atmospheric Service) aims at demonstrating the value of ground – based remote sensing data from the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change for quality assessment and improvement of the GMES Atmospheric Service products. [less ▲]

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See detailObserved and simulated time evolution of HCl, ClONO2, and HF total column abundances
Kohlhepp, R; Ruhnke, R; Chipperfield, M P et al

in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (2012), 12(7), 3527--3556

Time series of total column abundances of hydrogen chloride (HCl), chlorine nitrate (ClONO2), and hydrogen fluoride (HF) were determined from ground-based Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra ... [more ▼]

Time series of total column abundances of hydrogen chloride (HCl), chlorine nitrate (ClONO2), and hydrogen fluoride (HF) were determined from ground-based Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra recorded at 17 sites belonging to the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC) and located between 80.05°N and 77.82°S. By providing such a near-global overview on ground-based measurements of the two major stratospheric chlorine reservoir species, HCl and ClONO2, the present study is able to confirm the decrease of the atmospheric inorganic chlorine abundance during the last few years. This decrease is expected following the 1987 Montreal Protocol and its amendments and adjustments, where restrictions and a subsequent phase-out of the prominent anthropogenic chlorine source gases (solvents, chlorofluorocarbons) were agreed upon to enable a stabilisation and recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer. The atmospheric fluorine content is expected to be influenced by the Montreal Protocol, too, because most of the banned anthropogenic gases also represent important fluorine sources. But many of the substitutes to the banned gases also contain fluorine so that the HF total column abundance is expected to have continued to increase during the last few years. The measurements are compared with calculations from five different models: the two-dimensional Bremen model, the two chemistry-transport models KASIMA and SLIMCAT, and the two chemistry-climate models EMAC and SOCOL. Thereby, the ability of the models to reproduce the absolute total column amounts, the seasonal cycles, and the temporal evolution found in the FTIR measurements is investigated and inter-compared. This is especially interesting because the models have different architectures. The overall agreement between the measurements and models for the total column abundances and the seasonal cycles is good. Linear trends of HCl, ClONO2, and HF are calculated from both measurement and model time series data, with a focus on the time range 2000–2009. This period is chosen because from most of the measurement sites taking part in this study, data are available during these years. The precision of the trends is estimated with the bootstrap resampling method. The sensitivity of the trend results with respect to the fitting function, the time of year chosen and time series length is investigated, as well as a bias due to the irregular sampling of the measurements. The measurements and model results investigated here agree qualitatively on a decrease of the chlorine species by around 1%yr-1. The models simulate an increase of HF of around 1%yr-1. This also agrees well with most of the measurements, but some of the FTIR series in the Northern Hemisphere show a stabilisation or even a decrease in the last few years. In general, for all three gases, the measured trends vary more strongly with latitude and hemisphere than the modelled trends. Relative to the FTIR measurements, the models tend to underestimate the decreasing chlorine trends and to overestimate the fluorine increase in the Northern Hemisphere. At most sites, the models simulate a stronger decrease of ClONO2 than of HCl. In the FTIR measurements, this difference between the trends of HCl and ClONO2 depends strongly on latitude, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. [less ▲]

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See detailCarbon monoxide (CO) and ethane (C2H6) trends from ground-based solar FTIR measurements at six European stations, comparison and sensitivity analysis with the EMEP model
Angelbratt, J.; Mellqvist, J.; Simpson, D. et al

in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (2011), 11(17), 9253--9269

Trends in the CO and C2H6 partial columns ~0–15 km) have been estimated from four European ground-based solar FTIR (Fourier Transform InfraRed) stations for the 1996–2006 time period. The CO trends from ... [more ▼]

Trends in the CO and C2H6 partial columns ~0–15 km) have been estimated from four European ground-based solar FTIR (Fourier Transform InfraRed) stations for the 1996–2006 time period. The CO trends from the four stations Jungfraujoch, Zugspitze, Harestua and Kiruna have been estimated to −0.45 ± 0.16% yr−1, −1.00 ± 0.24% yr−1, −0.62 ± 0.19 % yr−1 and −0.61 ± 0.16% yr−1, respectively. The corresponding trends for C2H6 are −1.51 ± 0.23% yr−1, −2.11 ± 0.30% yr−1, −1.09 ± 0.25% yr−1 and −1.14 ± 0.18% yr−1. All trends are presented with their 2-σ confidence intervals. To find possible reasons for the CO trends, the global-scale EMEP MSC-W chemical transport model has been used in a series of sensitivity scenarios. It is shown that the trends are consistent with the combination of a 20% decrease in the anthropogenic CO emissions seen in Europe and North America during the 1996–2006 period and a 20% increase in the anthropogenic CO emissions in East Asia, during the same time period. The possible impacts of CH4 and biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are also considered. The European and global-scale EMEP models have been evaluated against the measured CO and C2H6 partial columns from Jungfraujoch, Zugspitze, Bremen, Harestua, Kiruna and Ny-Ålesund. The European model reproduces, on average the measurements at the different sites fairly well and within 10–22% deviation for CO and 14–31% deviation for C2H6. Their seasonal amplitude is captured within 6–35% and 9–124% for CO and C2H6, respectively. However, 61–98% of the CO and C2H6 partial columns in the European model are shown to arise from the boundary conditions, making the global-scale model a more suitable alternative when modeling these two species. In the evaluation of the global model the average partial columns for 2006 are shown to be within 1–9% and 37–50% of the measurements for CO and C2H6, respectively. The global model sensitivity for assumptions made in this paper is also analyzed. [less ▲]

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See detail1997–2007 CO trend at the high Alpine site Jungfraujoch: a comparison between NDIR surface in situ and FTIR remote sensing observations
Dils, B.; Cui, J.; Henne, S. et al

in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (2011), 11(13), 6735--6748

Within the atmospheric research community, there is a strong interest in integrated datasets, combining data from several instrumentations. This integration is complicated by the different characteristics ... [more ▼]

Within the atmospheric research community, there is a strong interest in integrated datasets, combining data from several instrumentations. This integration is complicated by the different characteristics of the datasets, inherent to the measurement techniques. Here we have compared two carbon monoxide time series (1997 till 2007) acquired at the high-Alpine research station Jungfraujoch (3580 m above sea level), with two well-established measurement techniques, namely in situ surface concentration measurements using Non-Dispersive Infrared Absorption technology (NDIR), and ground-based remote sensing measurements using solar absorption Fourier Transform Infrared spectrometry (FTIR). The profile information available in the FTIR signal allowed us to extract an independent layer with a top height of 7.18 km above sea level, appropriate for comparison with our in situ measurements. We show that, even if both techniques are able to measure free troposphere CO concentrations, the datasets exhibit marked differences in their overall trends (−3.21 ± 0.03 ppb/year for NDIR vs. −0.8 ± 0.4 ppb/year for FTIR). Removing measurements that are polluted by uprising boundary layer air has a strong impact on the NDIR trend (now −2.62 ± 0.03 ppb/year), but its difference with FTIR remains significant. Using the LAGRANTO trajectory model, we show that both measurement techniques are influenced by different source regions and therefore are likely subject to exhibit significant differences in their overall trend behaviour. However the observation that the NDIR-FTIR trend difference is as significant before as after 2001 is at odds with available emission databases which claim a significant Asian CO increase after 2001 only. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst space-based derivation of the global atmospheric methanol emission fluxes
Stavrakou, T.; Guenther, A.; Razavi, A. et al

in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (2011), 11

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See detailValidation of five years (2003–2007) of SCIAMACHY CO total column measurements using ground-based spectrometer observations
de Laat, A. T. J.; Gloudemans, A. M. S.; Schrijver, H. et al

in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (2010), 3(5), 1457--1471

This paper presents a validation study of SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY (SCIAMACHY) carbon monoxide (CO) total column measurements from the Iterative Maximum ... [more ▼]

This paper presents a validation study of SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY (SCIAMACHY) carbon monoxide (CO) total column measurements from the Iterative Maximum Likelihood Method (IMLM) algorithm using ground-based spectrometer observations from twenty surface stations for the five year time period of 2003–2007. Overall we find a good agreement between SCIAMACHY and ground-based observations for both mean values as well as seasonal variations. For high-latitude Northern Hemisphere stations absolute differences between SCIAMACHY and ground-based measurements are close to or fall within the SCIAMACHY CO 2σ precision of 0.2 × 1018 molecules/cm2 (~10%) indicating that SCIAMACHY can observe CO accurately at high Northern Hemisphere latitudes. For Northern Hemisphere mid-latitude stations the validation is complicated due to the vicinity of emission sources for almost all stations, leading to higher ground-based measurements compared to SCIAMACHY CO within its typical sampling area of 8° × 8°. Comparisons with Northern Hemisphere mountain stations are hampered by elevation effects. After accounting for these effects, the validation provides satisfactory results. At Southern Hemisphere mid- to high latitudes SCIAMACHY is systematically lower than the ground-based measurements for 2003 and 2004, but for 2005 and later years the differences between SCIAMACHY and ground-based measurements fall within the SCIAMACHY precision. The 2003–2004 bias is consistent with previously reported results although its origin remains under investigation. No other systematic spatial or temporal biases could be identified based on the validation presented in this paper. Validation results are robust with regard to the choices of the instrument-noise error filter, sampling area, and time averaging required for the validation of SCIAMACHY CO total column measurements. Finally, our results show that the spatial coverage of the ground-based measurements available for the validation of the 2003–2007 SCIAMACHY CO columns is sub-optimal for validation purposes, and that the recent and ongoing expansion of the ground-based network by carefully selecting new locations may be very beneficial for SCIAMACHY CO and other satellite trace gas measurements validation efforts. [less ▲]

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See detailTime series of 12CO and 13CO at northern mid-latitudes: Determination of Partial Column and δ13C seasonal and interannual variations
Mahieu, Emmanuel ULg; Duchatelet, Pierre ULg; Rinsland, C. P. et al

in Geophysical Research Abstracts (2009, April), 11(EGU2009-10017-1),

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an important reactive gas in the troposphere. It is emitted at the ground level by fossil fuel combustion and biomass burning. Biogenic sources and oceans as well as oxidation of ... [more ▼]

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an important reactive gas in the troposphere. It is emitted at the ground level by fossil fuel combustion and biomass burning. Biogenic sources and oceans as well as oxidation of methane and nonmethane hydrocarbons complete the emissions budget. Large uncertainties still affect the relative contributions of the identified anthropogenic and natural sources. Destruction by the hydroxyl radical (OH) is the main removal process for CO in both the troposphere and the stratosphere. The resulting average tropospheric lifetime of CO varies from several weeks to a few months. Two approaches have been developed and optimized to independently retrieve abundances of 12CO and 13CO from high-resolution ground-based infrared solar spectra, using sets of carefully selected lines and the SFIT-2 (v3.91) algorithm which implements the optimal estimation method. The corresponding products will be described and characterized in terms of error budget and information content. These strategies have allowed us to produce partial column time series of 12CO and 13CO, using spectra recorded on a regular basis at the Jungfraujoch station (46.5ºN, 8.0ºE, 3580 m asl, Swiss Alps), a site of the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC). The seasonal and interannual changes observed in the 12CO,13CO and δ13C (13C/12C) data sets will be presented and discussed. Complementary zonal mean time series derived from occultation measurements collected by the ACE-FTS instrument onboard the Canadian SCISAT-1 platform since 2004 will also be included and analyzed, focusing on the upper troposphere-lower stratosphere region of the atmosphere. Finally, we will use GEOS-Chem 3-D chemistry transport model results to help in the interpretation of the short and long-term variations characterizing the ground-based and satellite data sets, focusing on the factors influencing the partitioning between the two CO isotopologues. [less ▲]

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See detailValidation of version-4.61 methane and nitrous oxide observed by MIPAS
Payan, S.; Camy-Peyret, C.; Oelhaf, H. et al

in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (2009), 9(2), 413-442

The ENVISAT validation programme for the atmospheric instruments MIPAS, SCIAMACHY and GOMOS is based on a number of balloon-borne, aircraft, satellite and ground-based correlative measurements. In ... [more ▼]

The ENVISAT validation programme for the atmospheric instruments MIPAS, SCIAMACHY and GOMOS is based on a number of balloon-borne, aircraft, satellite and ground-based correlative measurements. In particular the activities of validation scientists were coordinated by ESA within the ENVISAT Stratospheric Aircraft and Balloon Campaign or ESABC. As part of a series of similar papers on other species [this issue] and in parallel to the contribution of the individual validation teams, the present paper provides a synthesis of comparisons performed between MIPAS CH4 and N2O profiles produced by the current ESA operational software (Instrument Processing Facility version 4.61 or IPF v4.61, full resolution MIPAS data covering the period 9 July 2002 to 26 March 2004) and correlative measurements obtained from balloon and aircraft experiments as well as from satellite sensors or from ground-based instruments. In the middle stratosphere, no significant bias is observed between MIPAS and correlative measurements, and MIPAS is providing a very consistent and global picture of the distribution of CH4 and N2O in this region. In average, the MIPAS CH4 values show a small positive bias in the lower stratosphere of about 5%. A similar situation is observed for N2O with a positive bias of 4%. In the lower stratosphere/upper troposphere (UT/LS) the individual used MIPAS data version 4.61 still exhibits some unphysical oscillations in individual CH4 and N2O profiles caused by the processing algorithm (with almost no regularization). Taking these problems into account, the MIPAS CH4 and N2O profiles are behaving as expected from the internal error estimation of IPF v4.61 and the estimated errors of the correlative measurements. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation of tropospheric and stratospheric ozone trends over Western Europe from ground-based FTIR network observations.
Vigouroux, C.; De Mazière, M.; Demoulin, Philippe ULg et al

in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (2008), 362(8), 6865-6886

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See detailRetrievals of C2H2 from high-resolution FTIR solar spectra recorded at the Jungfraujoch station (46.5ºN) and comparison with ACE-FTS observations
Mahieu, Emmanuel ULg; Duchatelet, Pierre ULg; Bernath, P. F. et al

in Geophysical Research Abstracts (2008), 10

Acetylene (C2H2) is among the nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) accessible to infrared remote sensing technique. As a product of combustion and biomass burning, it is emitted at the Earth’s surface and ... [more ▼]

Acetylene (C2H2) is among the nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHCs) accessible to infrared remote sensing technique. As a product of combustion and biomass burning, it is emitted at the Earth’s surface and further transported and mixed into the troposphere. Destruction by OH is the main removal process. The average tropospheric lifetime of C2H2 is estimated at about 1 month on the global scale; at mid-latitudes, it varies between 20 days in summer to 160 days in winter. This compound is appropriate to study tropospheric pollution and transport, and is often used in conjunction with other tracers of fires. C2H2 presents exploitable infrared absorption features near 3 and 15 μm, where weak isolated lines of the nu5 and the nu2 + nu4 + nu5 bands are found, respectively. Several of these lines can be used to retrieve abundances of C2H2 from high-resolution groundbased infrared solar spectra. Typical observations recorded at the Jungfraujoch station (46.5ºN, 8.0ºE, 3580m asl, Swiss Alps) by the NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change)-affiliated Bruker instrument have been fitted with the OEM-SFIT-2 (v3.91) algorithm. Various approaches and combination of lines have been tested, seeking for the optimum inversion strategy. The HITRAN-2004 spectroscopic line parameters including the August 2006 updates for water vapor have been adopted in the retrievals. These approaches will be presented and critically compared, with the help of error budget and information content analyses, taking into account the impact of major interferences such as water vapor. The time series of C2H2 tropospheric column abundances above Jungfraujoch will also be presented, including determination of its long-term trend and strong seasonal cycle. The ground-based results will further be compared with zonal mean observations performed by the ACE-FTS space-based instrument since early 2004. [less ▲]

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See detailRetrievals of HCN from high-resolution FTIR solar spectra recorded at the Jungfraujoch station
Mahieu, Emmanuel ULg; Duchatelet, Pierre ULg; Demoulin, Philippe ULg et al

in Geophysical Research Abstracts (2007, April)

Recent investigations have resulted in the revision of the lifetime of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) from 2.5 years to 2-5 months, more in line with its important and well documented variability in the ... [more ▼]

Recent investigations have resulted in the revision of the lifetime of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) from 2.5 years to 2-5 months, more in line with its important and well documented variability in the troposphere. The main HCN source is believed to be biomass burning, making this species a useful tracer of fires, e.g. the widespread and intense 2004 boreal fires. Oxidation by the OH radical is among the identified sinks, while uptake by oceans has been hypothesized as the dominant sink. As shown by previous investigations, several lines from the nu3 fundamental HCN band at 3 μm can be used to retrieve information on vertical distribution of hydrogen cyanide from high-resolution FTIR solar absorption spectra. The major interfering gas in this region is water vapor. A series of typical observations recorded at the Jungfraujoch station (46.5ºN, 8.0ºE, 3580m asl, Swiss Alps) by the NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change)-affiliated Bruker instrument have been fitted using various approaches to determine the optimum strategy to be used for HCN retrievals at that site, even under very wet conditions. The selected approach is made of 7 windows encompassing 5 HCN lines. The a priori information (HCN vertical distribution and covariance matrix) is based on ACE-FTS measurements performed over northern midlatitudes. The HITRAN-2004 spectroscopic line parameters including the August 2006 updates for water vapor have been adopted in the retrievals performed with the OEM-SFIT-2 (v3.91) algorithm. This contribution will give a full description of the adopted retrieval approach, including error budget and information content analysis. Tropospheric column time series of HCN from 1994 onwards will also be presented and discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailGeophysical validation of MIPAS-ENVISAT operational ozone data
Cortesi, U.; Lambert, J. C.; De Clercq, C. et al

in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (2007), 7(18), 4807-4867

The Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS), on-board the European ENVIronmental SATellite (ENVISAT) launched on 1 March 2002, is a middle infrared Fourier Transform spectrometer ... [more ▼]

The Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS), on-board the European ENVIronmental SATellite (ENVISAT) launched on 1 March 2002, is a middle infrared Fourier Transform spectrometer measuring the atmospheric emission spectrum in limb sounding geometry. The instrument is capable to retrieve the vertical distribution of temperature and trace gases, aiming at the study of climate and atmospheric chemistry and dynamics, and at applications to data assimilation and weather forecasting. MIPAS operated in its standard observation mode for approximately two years, from July 2002 to March 2004, with scans performed at nominal spectral resolution of 0.025 cm(-1) and covering the altitude range from the mesosphere to the upper troposphere with relatively high vertical resolution (about 3 km in the stratosphere). Only reduced spectral resolution measurements have been performed subsequently. MIPAS data were re-processed by ESA using updated versions of the Instrument Processing Facility (IPF v4.61 and v4.62) and provided a complete set of level-2 operational products (geo-located vertical profiles of temperature and volume mixing ratio of H2O, O-3, HNO3, CH4, N2O and NO2) with quasi continuous and global coverage in the period of MIPAS full spectral resolution mission. In this paper, we report a detailed description of the validation of MIPAS-ENVISAT operational ozone data, that was based on the comparison between MIPAS v4.61 (and, to a lesser extent, v4.62) O-3 VMR profiles and a comprehensive set of correlative data, including observations from ozone sondes, ground-based lidar, FTIR and microwave radiometers, remote-sensing and in situ instruments on-board stratospheric aircraft and balloons, concurrent satellite sensors and ozone fields assimilated by the European Center for Medium-range Weather Forecasting. A coordinated effort was carried out, using common criteria for the selection of individual validation data sets, and similar methods for the comparisons. This enabled merging the individual results from a variety of independent reference measurements of proven quality (i.e. well characterized error budget) into an overall evaluation of MIPAS O-3 data quality, having both statistical strength and the widest spatial and temporal coverage. Collocated measurements from ozone sondes and ground-based lidar and microwave radiometers of the Network for the Detection Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC) were selected to carry out comparisons with time series of MIPAS O-3 partial columns and to identify groups of stations and time periods with a uniform pattern of ozone differences, that were subsequently used for a vertically resolved statistical analysis. The results of the comparison are classified according to synoptic and regional systems and to altitude intervals, showing a generally good agreement within the comparison error bars in the upper and middle stratosphere. Significant differences emerge in the lower stratosphere and are only partly explained by the larger contributions of horizontal and vertical smoothing differences and of collocation errors to the total uncertainty. Further results obtained from a purely statistical analysis of the same data set from NDACC ground-based lidar stations, as well as from additional ozone soundings at middle latitudes and from NDACC ground-based FTIR measurements, confirm the validity of MIPAS O-3 profiles down to the lower stratosphere, with evidence of larger discrepancies at the lowest altitudes. The validation against O-3 VMR profiles using collocated observations performed by other satellite sensors (SAGE II, POAM III, ODIN-SMR, ACE-FTS, HALOE, GOME) and ECMWF assimilated ozone fields leads to consistent results, that are to a great extent compatible with those obtained from the comparison with ground-based measurements. Excellent agreement in the full vertical range of the comparison is shown with respect to collocated ozone data from stratospheric aircraft and balloon instruments, that was mostly obtained in very good spatial and temporal coincidence with MIPAS scans. This might suggest that the larger differences observed in the upper troposphere and lowermost stratosphere with respect to collocated ground-based and satellite O-3 data are only partly due to a degradation of MIPAS data quality. They should be rather largely ascribed to the natural variability of these altitude regions and to other components of the comparison errors. By combining the results of this large number of validation data sets we derived a general assessment of MIPAS v4.61 and v4.62 ozone data quality. A clear indication of the validity of MIPAS O-3 vertical profiles is obtained for most of the stratosphere, where the mean relative difference with the individual correlative data sets is always lower than +/- 10%. Furthermore, these differences always fall within the combined systematic error (from 1 hPa to 50 hPa) and the standard deviation is fully consistent with the random error of the comparison (from 1 hPa to similar to 30-40 hPa). A degradation in the quality of the agreement is generally observed in the lower stratosphere and upper troposphere, with biases up to 25% at 100 hPa and standard deviation of the global mean differences up to three times larger than the combined random error in the range 50-100 hPa. The larger differences observed at the bottom end of MIPAS retrieved profiles can be associated, as already noticed, to the effects of stronger atmospheric gradients in the UTLS that are perceived differently by the various measurement techniques. However, further components that may degrade the results of the comparison at lower altitudes can be identified as potentially including cloud contamination, which is likely not to have been fully filtered using the current settings of the MIPAS cloud detection algorithm, and in the linear approximation of the forward model that was used for the a priori estimate of systematic error components. The latter, when affecting systematic contributions with a random variability over the spatial and temporal scales of global averages, might result in an underestimation of the random error of the comparison and add up to other error sources, such as the possible underestimates of the p and T error propagation based on the assumption of a 1 K and 2% uncertainties, respectively, on MIPAS temperature and pressure retrievals. At pressure lower than 1 hPa, only a small fraction of the selected validation data set provides correlative ozone data of adequate quality and it is difficult to derive quantitative conclusions about the performance of MIPAS O-3 retrieval for the topmost layers. [less ▲]

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