Articles | Volume 17, issue 3
Research article
 | Highlight paper
14 Feb 2024
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 14 Feb 2024

Airborne lidar measurements of atmospheric CO2 column concentrations to cloud tops made during the 2017 ASCENDS/ABoVE campaign

Jianping Mao, James B. Abshire, S. Randy Kawa, Xiaoli Sun, and Haris Riris


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This paper demonstrates that lidar CO2 measurements can substantially complement current passive remote sensors by providing measurements above clouds and within cloud gaps. Furthermore, lidar provides data at high latitudes where spectroscopy suffers from low solar illumination and challenging albedo variations. This is of particular importance in the context of "Arctic amplification". The paper paves the way for future CO2 and also CH4 lidar measurements from satellites.
Short summary
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has developed an integrated-path, differential absorption lidar approach to measure column-averaged atmospheric CO2 (XCO2). We demonstrated the lidar’s capability to measure XCO2 to cloud tops ,as well as to the ground, with the data from the summer 2017 airborne campaign in the US and Canada. This active remote sensing technique can provide all-sky data coverage and high-quality XCO2 measurements for future airborne science campaigns and space missions.