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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 6, issue 4 | Copyright
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 6, 917-925, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 09 Apr 2013

Research article | 09 Apr 2013

Measurements of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and acetylene (C2H2) from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI)

V. Duflot1, D. Hurtmans1, L. Clarisse1, Y. R'honi1, C. Vigouroux2, M. De Mazière2, E. Mahieu3, C. Servais3, C. Clerbaux1,4, and P.-F. Coheur1 V. Duflot et al.
  • 1Spectroscopie de l'Atmosphère, Service de Chimie Quantique et Photophysique, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 50 Av. F. D. Roosevelt, 1050, Brussels, Belgium
  • 2Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB), 3, Av. Circulaire, 1180, Brussels, Belgium
  • 3Institut d'Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, 17, Allée du 6 Août, 4000, Liège, Belgium
  • 4Université Paris 06, Université Versailles-St. Quentin, CNRS/INSU, LATMOS-IPSL, Paris, France

Abstract. 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.

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