Validation of MIPAS-ENVISAT NO2 operational data

ATMOSPHERIC CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS (Impact Factor: 5.3). 01/2007; DOI: 10.5194/acpd-7-3333-2007
Source: DOAJ

ABSTRACT The Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) instrument was launched aboard the environmental satellite ENVISAT into its sun-synchronous orbit on 1 March 2002. The short-lived species NO2 is one of the key target products of MIPAS that are operationally retrieved from limb emission spectra measured in the stratosphere and mesosphere. Within the MIPAS validation activities, a large number of independent observations from balloons, satellites and ground-based stations have been compared to European Space Agency (ESA) version 4.61 operational NO2 data comprising the time period from July 2002 until March 2004 where MIPAS measured with full spectral resolution. Comparisons between MIPAS and balloon-borne observations carried out in 2002 and 2003 in the Arctic, at mid-latitudes, and in the tropics show a very good agreement below 40 km altitude with a mean deviation of roughly 3%, virtually without any significant bias. The comparison to ACE satellite observations exhibits only a small negative bias of MIPAS which appears not to be significant. The independent satellite instruments HALOE, SAGE II, and POAM III confirm in common for the spring-summer time period a negative bias of MIPAS in the Arctic and a positive bias in the Antarctic middle and upper stratosphere exceeding frequently the combined systematic error limits. In contrast to the ESA operational processor, the IMK/IAA retrieval code allows accurate inference of NO2 volume mixing ratios under consideration of all important non-LTE processes. Large differences between both retrieval results appear especially at higher altitudes, above about 50 to 55 km. These differences might be explained at least partly by non-LTE under polar winter conditions but not at mid-latitudes. Below this altitude region mean differences between both processors remain within 5% (during night) and up to 10% (during day) under undisturbed (September 2002) conditions and up to 40% under perturbed polar night conditions (February and March 2004). The intercomparison of ground-based NDACC observations shows no significant bias between the FTIR measurements in Kiruna (68° N) and MIPAS in summer 2003 but larger deviations in autumn and winter. The mean deviation over the whole comparison period remains within 10%. A mean negative bias of 15% for MIPAS daytime and 8% for nighttime observations has been determined for UV-vis comparisons over Harestua (60° N). Results of a pole-to-pole comparison of ground-based DOAS/UV-visible sunrise and MIPAS mid-morning column data has shown that the mean agreement in 2003 falls within the accuracy limit of the comparison method. Altogether, it can be indicated that MIPAS NO2 profiles yield valuable information on the vertical distribution of NO2 in the lower and middle stratosphere (below about 45 km) during day and night with an overall accuracy of about 10–20% and a precision of typically 5–15% such that the data are useful for scientific studies. In cases where extremely high NO2 occurs in the mesosphere (polar winter) retrieval results in the lower and middle stratosphere are less accurate than under undisturbed atmospheric conditions.

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    ABSTRACT: Peroxyacetyl nitrate (CH3CO·O 2NO2 , abbreviated as PAN) is a trace molecular species present in the troposphere and lower stratosphere due primarily to pollution from fuel combustion and the pyrogenic outflows from biomass burning. In the lower troposphere, PAN has a rel-atively short lifetime and is principally destroyed within a few hours through thermolysis, but it can act as a reservoir and carrier of NOx in the colder temperatures of the up-per troposphere, where UV photolysis becomes the dominant loss mechanism. Pyroconvective updrafts from large biomass burning events can inject PAN into the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS), providing a means for the long-range transport of NOx . Given the extended lifetimes at these higher altitudes, PAN is readily detectable via satellite remote sensing. A new PAN data product is now available for the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS) version 3.0 data set. We report observations of PAN in boreal biomass burning plumes recorded during the BORTAS (quantifying the impact of BOReal forest fires on Tropospheric oxidants over the Atlantic using Aircraft and Satellites) campaign (12 July to 3 August 2011). The retrieval method employed by incorporating laboratory-recorded absorption cross sections into version 3.0 of the ACE-FTS forward model and retrieval software is described in full detail. The estimated detection limit for ACE-FTS PAN is 5 pptv, and the total systematic error contribution to the ACE-FTS PAN retrieval is ∼16 %. The retrieved volume mixing ratio (VMR) profiles are compared to coincident measurements made by the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) instrument on the European Space Agency (ESA) Environmental Satellite (ENVISAT). The MIPAS measurements demonstrated good agreement with the ACE-FTS VMR profiles for PAN, where the measured VMR values are well within the associated measurement errors for both instruments and comparative measurements differ no more than 70 pptv. The ACE-FTS PAN data set is used to obtain zonal mean distributions of seasonal averages from ∼ 5–20 km. A strong seasonality is clearly observed for PAN concentrations in the global UTLS. Since the principal source of PAN in the UTLS is due to lofted biomass burning emissions from the pyroconvective updrafts created by large fires, the observed seasonality in enhanced PAN coincides with fire activity in different geographical regions throughout the year.
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    ABSTRACT: The Limb Infrared Monitor of the Stratosphere (LIMS) measured polar stratospheric enhancements of NO2 mixing ratios due to energetic particle precipitation (EPP) in the Arctic winter of 1978-1979. Recently reprocessed LIMS data are compared to more recent measurements from the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) and the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier transform spectrometer (ACE-FTS) to place the LIMS measurements in the context of current observations. The amount of NOx (NO + NO2) entering the stratosphere that has been created by EPP in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (EPP-NOx) has been quantified for the 1978-1979 and 2002-2003 through 2008-2009 Arctic winters. The NO2 enhancements in the LIMS data are similar to those in MIPAS and ACE-FTS data in the Arctic winters of 2002-2003, 2004-2005, 2006-2007, and 2007-2008. The largest enhancement by far is in 2003-2004 (˜2.2 Gmol at 1500 K), which is attributed to a combination of elevated EPP and unusual dynamics that led to strong descent in the upper stratosphere/lower mesosphere in late winter. The enhancements in 2005-2006 and 2008-2009, during which large stratospheric NOx enhancements were caused by a dynamical situation similar to that in 2003-2004, are larger than in all the other years (except 2003-2004) at 3000 K. However, by 2000 K the enhancements in 2005-2006 (2008-2009) are on the same order of magnitude as (smaller than) all other years. These results highlight the importance of the timing of the descent in determining the potential of EPP-NOx for reaching the middle stratosphere.
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    ABSTRACT: Water vapour (H2O) is one of the operationally retrieved key species of the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) instrument aboard the Environmental Satellite (ENVISAT) which was launched into its sun-synchronous orbit on 1 March 2002 and operated until April 2012. Within the MIPAS validation activities, independent observations from balloons, aircraft, satellites, and ground-based stations have been compared to European Space Agency (ESA) version 4.61 operational H2O data comprising the time period from July 2002 until March 2004 where MIPAS measured with full spectral resolution. No significant bias in the MIPAS H2O data is seen in the lower stratosphere (above the hygropause) between about 15 and 30 km. Differences of H2O quantities observed by MIPAS and the validation instruments are mostly well within the combined total errors in this altitude region. In the upper stratosphere (above about 30 km), a tendency towards a small positive bias (up to about 10%) is present in the MIPAS data when compared to its balloon-borne counterpart MIPAS-B, to the satellite instruments HALOE (Halogen Occultation Experiment) and ACE-FTS (Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment, Fourier Transform Spectrometer), and to the millimeter-wave airborne sensor AMSOS (Airborne Microwave Stratospheric Observing System). In the mesosphere the situation is unclear due to the occurrence of different biases when comparing HALOE and ACE-FTS data. Pronounced deviations between MIPAS and the correlative instruments occur in the lowermost stratosphere and upper troposphere, a region where retrievals of H2O are most challenging. Altogether it can be concluded that MIPAS H2O profiles yield valuable information on the vertical distribution of H2O in the stratosphere with an overall accuracy of about 10 to 30% and a precision of typically 5 to 15% - well within the predicted error budget, showing that these global and continuous data are very valuable for scientific studies. However, in the region around the tropopause retrieved MIPAS H2O profiles are less reliable, suffering from a number of obstacles such as retrieval boundary and cloud effects, sharp vertical discontinuities, and frequent horizontal gradients in both temperature and H2O volume mixing ratio (VMR). Some profiles are characterized by retrieval instabilities.
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