Articles | Volume 8, issue 5
Research article
20 May 2015
Research article |  | 20 May 2015

Round-robin evaluation of nadir ozone profile retrievals: methodology and application to MetOp-A GOME-2

A. Keppens, J.-C. Lambert, J. Granville, G. Miles, R. Siddans, J. C. A. van Peet, R. J. van der A, D. Hubert, T. Verhoelst, A. Delcloo, S. Godin-Beekmann, R. Kivi, R. Stübi, and C. Zehner

Abstract. A methodology for the round-robin evaluation and the geophysical validation of ozone profile data retrieved from nadir UV backscatter satellite measurements is detailed and discussed, consisting of data set content studies, information content studies, co-location studies, and comparisons with reference measurements. Within the European Space Agency's Climate Change Initiative on ozone (Ozone_cci project), the proposed round-robin procedure is applied to two nadir ozone profile data sets retrieved at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL, United Kingdom), using their respective OPERA v1.26 and RAL v2.1 optimal estimation algorithms, from MetOp-A GOME-2 (i.e. the second generation Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment on the first Meteorological Operational Satellite) measurements taken in 2008. The ground-based comparisons use ozonesonde and lidar profiles as reference data, acquired by the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC), Southern Hemisphere Additional Ozonesonde programme (SHADOZ), and other stations of the World Meteorological Organisation's Global Atmosphere Watch (WMO GAW). This direct illustration highlights practical issues that inevitably emerge from discrepancies in e.g. profile representation and vertical smoothing, for which different recipes are investigated and discussed. Several approaches for information content quantification, vertical resolution estimation, and reference profile resampling are compared and applied as well. The paper concludes with compliance estimates of the two GOME-2 ozone profile data sets with user requirements from the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and from climate modellers.

Short summary
This work thoroughly discusses a methodology, as summarized in a flowchart, for the round-robin evaluation and geophysical validation of nadir ozone profile retrievals and applies the proposed best practice to a pair of optimal-estimation algorithms run on exactly the same level-1 radiance measurements. The quality assessment combines data set content studies, information content studies, and comparisons with ground-based reference measurements.