Articles | Volume 6, issue 6
Research article
14 Jun 2013
Research article |  | 14 Jun 2013

Year-round retrievals of trace gases in the Arctic using the Extended-range Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer

Z. Mariani, K. Strong, M. Palm, R. Lindenmaier, C. Adams, X. Zhao, V. Savastiouk, C. T. McElroy, F. Goutail, and J. R. Drummond

Abstract. The Extended-range Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (E-AERI) was installed at the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) at Eureka, Nunavut, Canada in October 2008. Spectra from the E-AERI provide information about the radiative balance and budgets of trace gases in the Canadian high Arctic. Measurements are taken every 7 min year-round, including polar night when the solar-viewing spectrometers at PEARL are not operated. This allows E-AERI measurements to fill the gap in the PEARL dataset during the four months of polar night. Measurements were taken year-round in 2008–2009 at the PEARL Ridge Lab, which is 610 m a.s.l. (above sea-level), and from 2011 onwards at the Zero-Altitude PEARL Auxiliary Lab (0PAL), which is at sea level 15 km from the Ridge Lab. Total columns of O3, CO, CH4, and N2O have been retrieved using a modified version of the SFIT2 retrieval algorithm adapted for emission spectra. This provides the first ground-based nighttime measurements of these species at Eureka. Changes in the total columns driven by photochemistry and dynamics are observed. Analyses of E-AERI retrievals indicate accurate spectral fits (root-mean-square residuals consistent with noise) and a 10–15% uncertainty in the total column, depending on the trace gas. O3 comparisons between the E-AERI and a Bruker IFS 125HR Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer, three Brewer spectrophotometers, two UV-visible ground-based spectrometers, and a System D'Analyse par Observations Zenithales (SAOZ) at PEARL are made from 2008–2009 and for 2011. 125HR CO, CH4, and N2O columns are also compared with the E-AERI measurements. Mean relative differences between the E-AERI and the other spectrometers are 1–10% (14% is for the un-smoothed profiles), which are less than the E-AERI's total column uncertainties. The E-AERI O3 and CO measurements are well correlated with the other spectrometers (r > 0.92 with the 125HR). The 24 h diurnal cycle and 365-day seasonal cycle of CO are observed and their amplitudes are quantified by the E-AERI (6–12 and 46%, respectively). The seasonal variability of H2O has an impact on the retrievals, leading to larger uncertainties in the summer months. Despite increased water vapour at the lower-altitude site 0PAL, measurements at 0PAL are consistent with measurements at PEARL.