Articles | Volume 8, issue 11
Research article
05 Nov 2015
Research article |  | 05 Nov 2015

Methane and nitrous oxide retrievals from MIPAS-ENVISAT

J. Plieninger, T. von Clarmann, G. P. Stiller, U. Grabowski, N. Glatthor, S. Kellmann, A. Linden, F. Haenel, M. Kiefer, M. Höpfner, A. Laeng, and S. Lossow

Abstract. We present the strongly revised IMK/IAA MIPAS-ENVISAT CH4 and N2O data products for the MIPAS full-resolution (versions V5H_CH4_21 and V5H_N2O_21) and for the reduced-resolution period (versions V5R_CH4_224, V5R_CH4_225, V5R_N2O_224 and V5R_N2O_225). These data sets cover both MIPAS measurement periods from June 2002 until March 2004 and from January 2005 to April 2012. Differences with older retrieval versions which are known to have a high bias are discussed. The usage of the HITRAN 2008 spectroscopic data set leads to lower values for both gases in the lower part of the profile. The improved correction of additive radiance offsets and handling of background radiance continua allows for aerosol contributions at altitudes in the upper stratosphere and above. These changes lead to more plausible values, both in the radiance offset and in the profiles of the continuum absorption coefficients. They also increase the fraction of converged retrievals. Some minor changes were applied to the constraint of the inverse problem, causing small differences in the retrieved profiles, mostly due to the relaxation of off-diagonal regularisation matrix elements for the calculation of jointly retrieved absorption coefficient profiles. Spectral microwindows have been adjusted to avoid areas with saturated spectral signatures. Jointly retrieving profiles of water vapour and nitric acid serves to compensate spectroscopic inconsistencies. We discuss the averaging kernels of the profiles and their vertical resolution. The latter ranges from 2.5 to 7 km for CH4, and from 2.5 to 6 km for N2O in the reduced-resolution period. For the full-resolution period, the vertical resolution is in the order of 3 to 6 km for both gases. We find the retrieval errors in the lower part of the profiles mostly to be around 15 % for CH4 and below 10 % for N2O. The errors above 25 or 30 km increase to values between 10 and 20 %, except for CH4 from the reduced-resolution period, where the estimated errors stay below 15 %.

Short summary
We present our revised CH4 and N2O profiles derived from MIPAS-ENVISAT spectra, which are now available for the entire measurement period. We describe the retrieval of the profiles and discuss the improvements compared to earlier versions and their effect on the mixing ratios. We analyse the averaging kernels and the resolution of the profiles. An error discussion for both gases is given.