Remote sensing of water vapour profiles in the framework of the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON)
Abstract. We show that the near infrared solar absorption spectra recorded in the framework of the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) can be used to derive the vertical distribution of tropospheric water vapour. The resolution of the TCCON spectra of 0.02 cm−1 is sufficient for retrieving lower and middle/upper tropospheric water vapour concentrations with a vertical resolution of about 3 and 8 km, respectively. We document the good quality of the remotely-sensed profiles by comparisons with coincident in-situ Vaisala RS92 radiosonde measurements. Due to the high measurement frequency, the TCCON water vapour profile data offer novel opportunities for estimating the water vapour variability at different timescales and altitudes.