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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Atmos. Meas. Tech., 8, 4313-4328, 2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
15 Oct 2015
An examination of the long-term CO records from MOPITT and IASI: comparison of retrieval methodology
M. George1, C. Clerbaux1,2, I. Bouarar3, P.-F. Coheur2, M. N. Deeter4, D. P. Edwards4, G. Francis4, J. C. Gille4, J. Hadji-Lazaro1, D. Hurtmans2, A. Inness5, D. Mao4, and H. M. Worden4 1Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, Université Versailles St-Quentin, CNRS/INSU, LATMOS-IPSL, Paris, France
2Spectroscopie de l'Atmosphère, Chimie Quantique et Photophysique, Université Libre de Bruxelles (U.L.B.), Brussels, Belgium
3Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
4Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modeling, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
5European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, UK
Abstract. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a key atmospheric compound that can be remotely sensed by satellite on the global scale. Fifteen years of continuous observations are now available from the MOPITT/Terra mission (2000 to present). Another 15 and more years of observations will be provided by the IASI/MetOp instrument series (2007–2023 >). In order to study long-term variability and trends, a homogeneous record is required, which is not straightforward as the retrieved quantities are instrument and processing dependent. The present study aims at evaluating the consistency between the CO products derived from the MOPITT and IASI missions, both for total columns and vertical profiles, during a 6-year overlap period (2008–2013). The analysis is performed by first comparing the available 2013 versions of the retrieval algorithms (v5T for MOPITT and v20100815 for IASI), and second using a dedicated reprocessing of MOPITT CO profiles and columns using the same a priori information as the IASI product. MOPITT total columns are generally slightly higher over land (bias ranging from 0 to 13 %) than IASI data. When IASI and MOPITT data are retrieved with the same a priori constraints, correlation coefficients are slightly improved. Large discrepancies (total column bias over 15 %) observed in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter months are reduced by a factor of 2 to 2.5. The detailed analysis of retrieved vertical profiles compared with collocated aircraft data from the MOZAIC-IAGOS network, illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of a constant vs. a variable a priori. On one hand, MOPITT agrees better with the aircraft profiles for observations with persisting high levels of CO throughout the year due to pollution or seasonal fire activity (because the climatology-based a priori is supposed to be closer to the real atmospheric state). On the other hand, IASI performs better when unexpected events leading to high levels of CO occur, due to a larger variability associated with the a priori.

Citation: George, M., Clerbaux, C., Bouarar, I., Coheur, P.-F., Deeter, M. N., Edwards, D. P., Francis, G., Gille, J. C., Hadji-Lazaro, J., Hurtmans, D., Inness, A., Mao, D., and Worden, H. M.: An examination of the long-term CO records from MOPITT and IASI: comparison of retrieval methodology, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 8, 4313-4328, doi:10.5194/amt-8-4313-2015, 2015.
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