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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  26 May 2020

26 May 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Ground-based validation of the Copernicus Sentinel-5p TROPOMI NO2 measurements with the NDACC ZSL-DOAS, MAX-DOAS and Pandonia global networks

Tijl Verhoelst1, Steven Compernolle1, Gaia Pinardi1, Jean-Christopher Lambert1, Henk J. Eskes2, Kai-Uwe Eichmann3, Ann Mari Fjæraa4, José Granville1, Sander Niemeijer5, Alexander Cede6,7, Martin Tiefengraber7, François Hendrick1, Andrea Pazmiño8, Alkiviadis Bais9, Ariane Bazureau8, K. Folkert Boersma2,10, Kristof Bognar11, Angelika Dehn12, Sebastian Donner13, Aleksandr Elokhov14, Manuel Gebetsberger7, Florence Goutail8, Michel Grutter de la Mora15, Aleksandr Gruzdev14, Myrto Gratsea16, Georg H. Hansen17, Hitoshi Irie18, Nis Jepsen19, Yugo Kanaya20, Dimitris Karagkiozidis9, Rigel Kivi21, Karin Kreher22, Pieternel F. Levelt2,23, Cheng Liu24, Moritz Müller7, Monica Navarro Comas25, Ankie J. M. Piters2, Jean-Pierre Pommereau8, Thierry Portafaix26, Olga Puentedura25, Richard Querel27, Julia Remmers13, Andreas Richter3, John Rimmer28, Claudia Rivera Cárdenas15, Lidia Saavedra de Miguel12, Valery P. Sinyakov29, Kimberley Strong11, Michel Van Roozendael1, J. Pepijn Veefkind2, Thomas Wagner11, Folkard Wittrock3, Margarita Yela González22, and Claus Zehner10 Tijl Verhoelst et al.
  • 1Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB), Ringlaan 3, 1180 Uccle, Belgium
  • 2Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), Utrechtseweg 297, 3730 AE De Bilt, The Netherlands
  • 3Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP), University of Bremen, Otto-Hahn-Allee 1, D-28359 Bremen, Germany
  • 4Norsk Institutt for Luftforskning (NILU), Instituttveien 18, 2007 Kjeller, Norway
  • 5Science [&] Technology Corporation (S[&]T), Delft, The Netherlands
  • 6Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 7LuftBlick, Kreith, Austria & Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 8Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales (LATMOS), UVSQ/UPMC/CNRS, Guyancourt, France
  • 9Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Thessaloniki, Greece
  • 10Meteorology and Air Quality group, Wageningen University, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • 11Department of Physics, University of Toronto, 60 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1A7, Canada
  • 12European Space Agency/Centre for Earth Observation (ESA/ESRIN), Frascati, Italy
  • 13Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie (MPI-C), Hahn-Meitner-Weg 1, 55128 Mainz, Germany
  • 14A.M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 15Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Mexico City, Mexico
  • 16National Observatory of Athens, Lofos Nymphon - Thissio, PO Box 20048 - 11810, Athens, Greece
  • 17Norsk Institutt for Luftforskning (NILU), P.O. Box 6606 Langnes, NO-9296 Tromsø, Norway
  • 18Center for Environmental Remote Sensing, Chiba University (ChibaU), Chiba, Japan
  • 19Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), Lyngbyvej 100, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 20Research Institute for Global Change (JAMSTEC), Yokohama, Japan
  • 21Space and Earth Observation Centre, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Tähteläntie 62, FI-99600 Sodankylä, Finland
  • 22BK Scientific GmbH, Astheimerweg 42, 55130 Mainz, Germany
  • 23University of Technology Delft, Mekelweg 5, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands
  • 24Department of Precision Machinery and Precision Instrumentation, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, 230026, China
  • 25Atmospheric Research and Instrumentation, National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA), Madrid, 28850, Spain
  • 26Laboratoire de l’Atmosphère et des Cyclones (LACy), Université de La Réunion, Saint-Denis, France
  • 27National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Private Bag 50061, Omakau, Central Otago, New Zealand
  • 28University of Manchester, Oxford Rd, M13 9PL Manchester, United Kingdom
  • 29Kyrgyz National University of Jusup Balasagyn (KNU), 547 Frunze Str., Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic

Abstract. This paper reports on consolidated ground-based validation results of the atmospheric NO2 data produced operationally since April 2018 by the TROPOMI instrument on board of the ESA/EU Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor (S5p) satellite. Tropospheric, stratospheric, and total NO2 column data from S5p are compared to correlative measurements collected from, respectively, 19 Multi-Axis DOAS (MAX-DOAS), 26 NDACC Zenith-Scattered-Light DOAS (ZSL-DOAS), and 25 PGN/Pandora instruments distributed globally. The validation methodology gives special care to minimizing mismatch errors due to imperfect spatio-temporal co-location of the satellite and correlative data, e.g., by using tailored observation operators to account for differences in smoothing and in sampling of atmospheric structures and variability, and photochemical modelling to reduce diurnal cycle effects. Compared to the ground-based measurements, S5p data show, on an average: (i) a negative bias for the tropospheric column data, of typically −23 to −37 % in clean to slightly polluted conditions, but reaching values as high as −51 % over highly polluted areas; (ii) a slight negative bias for the stratospheric column data, of about −0.2 Pmolec/cm2, i.e. approx. −2 % in summer to −15 % in winter; and (iii) a bias ranging from zero to −50 % for the total column data, found to depend on the amplitude of the total NO2 column, with small to slightly positive bias values for columns below 6 Pmolec/cm2 and negative values above. The dispersion between S5p and correlative measurements contains mostly random components, which remain within mission requirements for the stratospheric column data (0.5 Pmolec/cm2), but exceed those for the tropospheric column data (0.7 Pmolec/cm2). While a part of the biases and dispersion may be due to representativeness differences, it is known that errors in the S5p tropospheric columns exist due to shortcomings in the (horizontally coarse) a-priori profile representation in the TM5-MP chemistry transport model used in the S5p retrieval, and to a lesser extent, to the treatment of cloud effects. Although considerable differences (up to 2 Pmolec/cm2 and more) are observed at single ground-pixel level, the near-real-time (NRTI) and off-line (OFFL) versions of the S5p NO2 operational data processor provide similar NO2 column values and validation results when globally averaged, with the NRTI values being on average 0.79 % larger than the OFFL values.

Tijl Verhoelst et al.

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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Tijl Verhoelst et al.

Tijl Verhoelst et al.


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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
This paper reports on the ground-based validation of the NO2 data produced operationally by the TROPOMI instrument on board the Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite. Tropospheric, stratospheric, and total NO2 columns are compared to measurements collected from MAX-DOAS, ZSL-DOAS, and PGN/Pandora instruments respectively. The products are found to satisfy mission requirements in general, though negative mean differences are found at sites with high pollution levels. Potential causes are discussed.
This paper reports on the ground-based validation of the NO2 data produced operationally by the...