Simulated retrievals for the remote sensing of CO2, CH4, CO, and H2O from geostationary orbit
Abstract. The Geostationary Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GeoFTS) is designed to measure high-resolution spectra of reflected sunlight in three near-infrared bands centered around 0.76, 1.6, and 2.3 μm and to deliver simultaneous retrievals of column-averaged dry air mole fractions of CO2, CH4, CO, and H2O (denoted XCO2, XCH4, XCO, and XH2O, respectively) at different times of day over North America. In this study, we perform radiative transfer simulations over both clear-sky and all-sky scenes expected to be observed by GeoFTS and estimate the prospective performance of retrievals based on results from Bayesian error analysis and characterization.
We find that, for simulated clear-sky retrievals, the average retrieval biases and single-measurement precisions are < 0.2 % for XCO2, XCH4, and XH2O, and < 2 % for XCO, when the a priori values have a bias of 3 % and an uncertainty of 3 %. In addition, an increase in the amount of aerosols and ice clouds leads to a notable increase in the retrieval biases and slight worsening of the retrieval precisions. Furthermore, retrieval precision is a strong function of signal-to-noise ratio and spectral resolution. This simulation study can help guide decisions on the design of the GeoFTS observing system, which can result in cost-effective measurement strategies while achieving satisfactory levels of retrieval precisions and biases. The simultaneous retrievals at different times of day will be important for more accurate estimation of carbon sources and sinks on fine spatiotemporal scales and for studies related to the atmospheric component of the water cycle.