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See detailValidation of SCIAMACHY HDO/H2O measurements using the TCCON and NDACC-MUSICA networks
Scheepmaker, R. A.; Frankenberg, C.; Deutscher, N. M. et al

in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (2015), 8(4), 1799-1818

Measurements of the atmospheric HDO/H2O ratio help us to better understand the hydrological cycle and improve models to correctly simulate tropospheric humidity and therefore climate change. We present an ... [more ▼]

Measurements of the atmospheric HDO/H2O ratio help us to better understand the hydrological cycle and improve models to correctly simulate tropospheric humidity and therefore climate change. We present an updated version of the column-averaged HDO/H2O ratio data set from the SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY (SCIAMACHY). The data set is extended with 2 additional years, now covering 2003–2007, and is validated against co-located ground-based total column δD measurements from Fourier transform spectrometers (FTS) of the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) and the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC, produced within the framework of the MUSICA project). Even though the time overlap among the available data is not yet ideal, we determined a mean negative bias in SCIAMACHY δD of −35 ± 30‰ compared to TCCON and −69 ± 15‰ compared to MUSICA (the uncertainty indicating the station-to-station standard deviation). The bias shows a latitudinal dependency, being largest (∼ −60 to −80‰) at the highest latitudes and smallest (∼ −20 to −30‰) at the lowest latitudes. We have tested the impact of an offset correction to the SCIAMACHY HDO and H2O columns. This correction leads to a humidity- and latitude-dependent shift in δD and an improvement of the bias by 27‰, although it does not lead to an improved correlation with the FTS measurements nor to a strong reduction of the latitudinal dependency of the bias. The correction might be an improvement for dry, high-altitude areas, such as the Tibetan Plateau and the Andes region. For these areas, however, validation is currently impossible due to a lack of ground stations. The mean standard deviation of single-sounding SCIAMACHY–FTS differences is ∼ 115‰, which is reduced by a factor ∼ 2 when we consider monthly means. When we relax the strict matching of individual measurements and focus on the mean seasonalities using all available FTS data, we find that the correlation coefficients between SCIAMACHY and the FTS networks improve from 0.2 to 0.7–0.8. Certain ground stations show a clear asymmetry in δD during the transition from the dry to the wet season and back, which is also detected by SCIAMACHY. This asymmetry points to a transition in the source region temperature or location of the water vapour and shows the added information that HDO/H2O measurements provide when used in combination with variations in humidity. [less ▲]

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See detailRetrievals of formaldehyde from ground-based FTIR and MAX-DOAS observations at the Jungfraujoch station and comparisons with GEOS-Chem and IMAGES model simulations
Franco, Bruno ULg; Hendrick, François; Van Roozendael, Michel et al

in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (2015), 8

As an ubiquitous product of the oxidation of many volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde (HCHO) plays a key role as a short-lived and reactive intermediate in the atmospheric photo-oxidation ... [more ▼]

As an ubiquitous product of the oxidation of many volatile organic compounds (VOCs), formaldehyde (HCHO) plays a key role as a short-lived and reactive intermediate in the atmospheric photo-oxidation pathways leading to the formation of tropospheric ozone and secondary organic aerosols. In this study, HCHO profiles have been successfully retrieved from ground-based Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) solar spectra and UV-visible Multi-AXis Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) scans recorded during the July 2010–December 2012 time period at the Jungfraujoch station (Swiss Alps, 46.5° N, 8.0° E, 3580m a.s.l.). Analysis of the retrieved products has revealed different vertical sensitivity between both remote sensing techniques. Furthermore, HCHO amounts simulated by two state-of-the-art chemical transport models (CTMs), GEOSChem and IMAGES v2, have been compared to FTIR total columns and MAX-DOAS 3.6–8 km partial columns, accounting for the respective vertical resolution of each ground-based instrument. Using the CTM outputs as the intermediate, FTIR and MAX-DOAS retrievals have shown consistent seasonal modulations of HCHO throughout the investigated period, characterized by summertime maximum and wintertime minimum. Such comparisons have also highlighted that FTIR and MAX-DOAS provide complementary products for the HCHO retrieval above the Jungfraujoch station. Finally, tests have revealed that the updated IR parameters from the HITRAN 2012 database have a cumulative effect and significantly decrease the retrieved HCHO columns with respect to the use of the HITRAN 2008 compilation. [less ▲]

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See detailImproved spectral fitting of nitrogen dioxide from OMI in the 405-465 nm window
van Geffen, J H G M; Boersma, K F; Van Roozendael, M et al

in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (2015), 8

An improved nitrogen dioxide (NO2) slant column density retrieval for the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) in the 405–465 nm spectral region is presented. Since the launch of OMI on board NASA’s EOS-Aura ... [more ▼]

An improved nitrogen dioxide (NO2) slant column density retrieval for the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) in the 405–465 nm spectral region is presented. Since the launch of OMI on board NASA’s EOS-Aura satellite in 2004, differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) retrievals of NO2 slant column densities have been the starting point for the KNMI DOMINO and NASA SP NO2 vertical column data as well as the OMI NO2 data of some other institutes. However, recent intercomparisons between NO2 retrievals from OMI and other UV/Vis and limb spectrometers, as well as ground-based measurements, suggest that OMI stratospheric NO2 is biased high. This study revises and, for the first time, fully documents the OMI NO2 retrieval in detail. The representation of the OMI slit function to convolve high-resolution reference spectra onto the relevant spectral grid is improved. The window used for the wavelength calibration is optimised, leading to much-reduced fitting errors. Ozone and water vapour spectra used in the fit are updated, reflecting the recently improved knowledge of their absorption cross section in the literature. The improved spectral fit also accounts for absorption by the O2–O2 collision complex and by liquid water over clearwater areas. The main changes in the improved spectral fitting result from the updates related to the wavelength calibration: the RMS error of the fit is reduced by 23% and the NO2 slant column by 0.85 1015 molec cm-2, independent of latitude, solar zenith angle and NO2 value. Including O2–O2 and liquid water absorption and updating the O3 and water vapour cross-section spectra further reduces NO2 slant columns on average by 0.35 1015 molec cm-2, accompanied by a further 9% reduction in the RMS error of the fit. The improved OMI NO2 slant columns are consistent with independent NO2 retrievals from other instruments to within a range that can be explained by photochemically driven diurnal increases in stratospheric NO2 and by small differences in fitting window and approach. The revisions indicate that current OMI NO2 slant columns suffered mostly from an additive positive offset, which is removed by the improved wavelength calibration and representation of the OMI slit function. It is therefore anticipated that the improved NO2 slant columns are most important to retrievals of spatially homogeneous stratospheric NO2 rather than to heterogeneous tropospheric NO2. [less ▲]

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See detailUsing XCO2 retrievals for assessing the long-term consistency of NDACC/FTIR data sets
Barthlott, S; Schneider, M; Hase, F et al

in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (2015), 8

Within the NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change), more than 20 FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared) spectrometers, spread worldwide, provide long-term data records of many ... [more ▼]

Within the NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change), more than 20 FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared) spectrometers, spread worldwide, provide long-term data records of many atmospheric trace gases. We present a method that uses measured and modelled XCO2 for assessing the consistency of these NDACC data records. Our XCO2 retrieval setup is kept simple so that it can easily be adopted for any NDACC/FTIR-like measurement made since the late 1950s. By a comparison to coincident TCCON (Total Carbon Column Observing Network) measurements, we empirically demonstrate the useful quality of this suggested NDACC XCO2 product (empirically obtained scatter between TCCON and NDACC is about 4‰ for daily mean as well as monthly mean comparisons, and the bias is 25 ‰). Our XCO2 model is a simple regression model fitted to CarbonTracker results and the Mauna Loa CO2 in situ records. A comparison to TCCON data suggests an uncertainty of the model for monthly mean data of below 3 ‰. We apply the method to the NDACC/FTIR spectra that are used within the project MUSICA (multi-platform remote sensing of isotopologues for investigating the cycle of atmospheric water) and demonstrate that there is a good consistency for these globally representative set of spectra measured since 1996: the scatter between the modelled and measured XCO2 on a yearly time scale is only 3 ‰. [less ▲]

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See detailLong-term evolution and seasonal modulation of methanol above Jungfraujoch (46.5°N, 8.0°E): Optimisation of the retrieval strategy, comparison with model and independant observations
Bader, Whitney ULg; Stavrakou, T; Muller, J-F et al

in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (2014), 7

Methanol (CH3OH) is the second most abundant organic compound in the Earth's atmosphere after methane. In this work, we present the first long-term time series of methanol total, lower tropospheric and ... [more ▼]

Methanol (CH3OH) is the second most abundant organic compound in the Earth's atmosphere after methane. In this work, we present the first long-term time series of methanol total, lower tropospheric and upper tropospheric-lower stratospheric partial columns derived from the analysis of high resolution Fourier transform infrared solar spectra recorded at the Jungfraujoch station (46.5° N, 3580 m a.s.l.). The retrieval of methanol is very challenging due to strong absorptions of ozone in the region of the selected υ8 band of CH3OH. Two wide spectral intervals have been defined and adjusted in order to maximize the information content. Methanol does not exhibit a significant trend over the 1995–2012 time period, but a strong seasonal modulation characterized by maximum values and variability in June–July, minimum columns in winter and a peak-to-peak amplitude of 130%. In situ measurements performed at the Jungfraujoch and ACE-FTS occultations give similar results for the methanol seasonal variation. The total and lower tropospheric columns are also compared with IMAGESv2 model simulations. There is no systematic bias between the observations and IMAGESv2 but the model underestimates the peak-to-peak amplitude of the seasonal modulations. [less ▲]

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See detailSpectrometric monitoring of atmospheric carbon tetrafluoride (CF4) above the Jungfraujoch station since 1989: evidence of continued increase but at a slowing rate
Mahieu, Emmanuel ULg; Zander, Rodolphe ULg; Toon, G. C. et al

in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (2014), 7

The long-term evolution of the vertical column abundance of carbon tetrafluoride (CF4) above the high-altitude Jungfraujoch station (Swiss Alps, 46.5° N, 8.0° E, 3580 m a.s.l.) has been derived from the ... [more ▼]

The long-term evolution of the vertical column abundance of carbon tetrafluoride (CF4) above the high-altitude Jungfraujoch station (Swiss Alps, 46.5° N, 8.0° E, 3580 m a.s.l.) has been derived from the spectrometric analysis of Fourier transform infrared solar spectra recorded at that site between 1989 and 2012. The investigation is based on a multi-microwindow approach, two encompassing pairs of absorption lines belonging to the R-branch of the strong ν3 band of CF4 centered at 1283 cm−1, and two additional ones to optimally account for weak but overlapping HNO3 interferences. The analysis reveals a steady accumulation of the very long-lived CF4 above the Jungfraujoch at mean rates of (1.38 ± 0.11) × 1013 molec cm−2 yr−1 from 1989 to 1997, and (0.98 ± 0.02) × 1013 molec cm−2 yr−1 from 1998 to 2012, which correspond to linear growth rates of 1.71 ± 0.14 and 1.04 ± 0.02% yr−1 respectively referenced to 1989 and 1998. Related global CF4 anthropogenic emissions required to sustain these mean increases correspond to 15.8 ± 1.3 and 11.1 ± 0.2 Gg yr−1 over the above specified time intervals. Findings reported here are compared and discussed with respect to relevant northern mid-latitude results obtained remotely from space and balloons as well as in situ at the ground, including new gas chromatography mass spectrometry measurements performed at the Jungfraujoch since 2010. [less ▲]

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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 detailGround-based remote sensing of tropospheric water vapour isotopologues within the project MUSICA
Schneider, M.; Barthlott, S.; Hase, F. et al

in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (2012), 5(2012), 3007-3027

Within the project MUSICA (MUlti-platform remote Sensing of Isotopologues for investigating the Cycle of Atmospheric water), long-term tropospheric water vapour isotopologue data records are provided for ... [more ▼]

Within the project MUSICA (MUlti-platform remote Sensing of Isotopologues for investigating the Cycle of Atmospheric water), long-term tropospheric water vapour isotopologue data records are provided for ten globally distributed ground-based mid-infrared remote sensing stations of the NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change). We present a new method allowing for an extensive and straightforward characterisation of the complex nature of such isotopologue remote sensing datasets. We demonstrate that the MUSICA humidity profiles are representative for most of the troposphere with a vertical resolution ranging from about 2 km (in the lower troposphere) to 8 km (in the upper troposphere) and with an estimated precision of better than 10%. We find that the sensitivity with respect to the isotopologue composition is limited to the lower and middle troposphere, whereby we estimate a precision of about 30‰ for the ratio between the two isotopologues HD16O and H216O. The measurement noise, the applied atmospheric temperature profiles, the uncertainty in the spectral baseline, and the cross-dependence on humidity are the leading error sources. We introduce an a posteriori correction method of the cross-dependence on humidity, and we recommend applying it to isotopologue ratio remote sensing datasets in general. In addition, we present mid-infrared CO2 retrievals and use them for demonstrating the MUSICA network-wide data consistency. In order to indicate the potential of long-term isotopologue remote sensing data if provided with a well-documented quality, we present a climatology and compare it to simulations of an isotope incorporated AGCM (Atmospheric General Circulation Model). We identify differences in the multi-year mean and seasonal cycles that significantly exceed the estimated errors, thereby indicating deficits in the modeled atmospheric water cycle. [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 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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