Quality assessment of ozone total column amounts as monitored by ground-based solar absorption spectrometry in the near infrared (> 3000 cm−1)
Abstract. This study examines the possibility of ground-based remote-sensing ozone total column amounts (OTC) from spectral signatures at 3040 and 4030 cm−1. These spectral regions are routinely measured by the NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change) ground-based FTIR (Fourier transform infraRed) experiments. In addition, they are potentially detectable by the TCCON (Total Carbon Column Observing Network) FTIR instruments. The ozone retrieval strategy presented here estimates the OTC from NDACC FTIR high-resolution spectra with a theoretical precision of about 2 and 5% in the 3040 and 4030 cm−1 regions, respectively. Empirically, these OTC products are validated by inter-comparison to FTIR OTC reference retrievals in the 1000 cm−1 spectral region (standard reference for NDACC ozone products), using an 8-year FTIR time series (2005–2012) taken at the subtropical ozone supersite of the Izaña Atmospheric Observatory (Tenerife, Spain). Associated with the weaker ozone signatures at the higher wave number regions, the 3040 and 4030 cm−1 retrievals show lower vertical sensitivity than the 1000 cm−1 retrievals. Nevertheless, we observe that the rather consistent variations are detected: the variances of the 3040 cm−1 and the 4030 cm−1 retrievals agree within 90 and 75%, respectively, with the variance of the 1000 cm−1 standard retrieval. Furthermore, all three retrievals show very similar annual cycles. However, we observe a large systematic difference of about 7% between the OTC obtained at 1000 and 3040 cm−1, indicating a significant inconsistency between the spectroscopic ozone parameters (HITRAN, 2012) of both regions. Between the 1000 cm and the 4030 cm−1 retrieval the systematic difference is only 2–3%. Finally, the long-term stability of the OTC retrievals has also been examined, observing that both near-infrared retrievals can monitor the long-term OTC evolution, consistent with the 1000 cm−1 reference data. These findings demonstrate that recording the solar absorption spectra in the 3000 cm−1 spectral region at high spectral resolution (about 0.005 cm−1) might be useful for TCCON sites. Hence, both NDACC and TCCON ground-based FTIR experiments might contribute to global ozone databases.