Articles | Volume 3, issue 5
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 3, 1351–1362, 2010
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 3, 1351–1362, 2010

Research article 06 Oct 2010

Research article | 06 Oct 2010

Calibration of the Total Carbon Column Observing Network using aircraft profile data

D. Wunch1, G. C. Toon1,2, P. O. Wennberg1, S. C. Wofsy3, B. B. Stephens4, M. L. Fischer10, O. Uchino14, J. B. Abshire12, P. Bernath8,9, S. C. Biraud10, J.-F. L. Blavier1,2, C. Boone8, K. P. Bowman13, E. V. Browell11, T. Campos4, B. J. Connor7, B. C. Daube3, N. M. Deutscher5, M. Diao15, J. W. Elkins17, C. Gerbig16, E. Gottlieb3, D. W. T. Griffith5, D. F. Hurst17,18, R. Jiménez3,21, G. Keppel-Aleks1, E. A. Kort3, R. Macatangay5, T. Machida14, H. Matsueda19, F. Moore18, I. Morino14, S. Park3, J. Robinson20, C. M. Roehl1, Y. Sawa19, V. Sherlock6, C. Sweeney18, T. Tanaka14, and M. A. Zondlo15 D. Wunch et al.
  • 1California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 2Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 3Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 4National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 5Center for Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia
  • 6National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, Wellington, New Zealand
  • 7BC Consulting Limited, Alexandra, New Zealand
  • 8University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
  • 9York University, York, UK
  • 10Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, Berkeley, CA, USA
  • 11NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, USA
  • 12NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 13Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA
  • 14National Insitute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 15Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
  • 16Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie, Jena, Germany
  • 17National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 18Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 19Meteorological Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 20National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, Lauder, New Zealand
  • 21Department of Chemical and Enivronmental Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, DC 111321, Colombia

Abstract. The Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) produces precise measurements of the column average dry-air mole fractions of CO2, CO, CH4, N2O and H2O at a variety of sites worldwide. These observations rely on spectroscopic parameters that are not known with sufficient accuracy to compute total columns that can be used in combination with in situ measurements. The TCCON must therefore be calibrated to World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in situ trace gas measurement scales. We present a calibration of TCCON data using WMO-scale instrumentation aboard aircraft that measured profiles over four TCCON stations during 2008 and 2009. These calibrations are compared with similar observations made in 2004 and 2006. The results indicate that a single, global calibration factor for each gas accurately captures the TCCON total column data within error.