Articles | Volume 4, issue 4
Research article
11 Apr 2011
Research article |  | 11 Apr 2011

Retrieval algorithm for CO2 and CH4 column abundances from short-wavelength infrared spectral observations by the Greenhouse gases observing satellite

Y. Yoshida, Y. Ota, N. Eguchi, N. Kikuchi, K. Nobuta, H. Tran, I. Morino, and T. Yokota

Abstract. The Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) was launched on 23 January 2009 to monitor the global distributions of carbon dioxide and methane from space. It has operated continuously since then. Here, we describe a retrieval algorithm for column abundances of these gases from the short-wavelength infrared spectra obtained by the Thermal And Near infrared Sensor for carbon Observation-Fourier Transform Spectrometer (TANSO-FTS). The algorithm consists of three steps. First, cloud-free observational scenes are selected by several cloud-detection methods. Then, column abundances of carbon dioxide and methane are retrieved based on the optimal estimation method. Finally, the retrieval quality is examined to exclude low-quality and/or aerosol-contaminated results. Most of the retrieval random errors come from instrumental noise. The interferences due to auxiliary parameters retrieved simultaneously with gas abundances are small. The evaluated precisions of the retrieved column abundances for single observations are less than 1% in most cases. The interhemispherical differences and temporal variation patterns of the retrieved column abundances show features similar to those of an atmospheric transport model.