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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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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.

  17 Aug 2020

17 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

In situ observations of greenhouse gases over Europe during the CoMet 1.0 campaign aboard the HALO aircraft

Michał Gałkowski1,2, Armin Jordan1, Michael Rothe1, Julia Marshall1, Frank-Thomas Koch1,3, Jinxuan Chen1, Anna Agusti-Panareda4, Andreas Fix5, and Christoph Gerbig1 Michał Gałkowski et al.
  • 1Department of Biogeochemical Systems, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
  • 2Faculty of Physics and Applied Computer Science, AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, Poland
  • 3Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeissenberg, Deutscher Wetterdienst, Germany
  • 4European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, UK
  • 5Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany

Abstract. The intensive measurement campaign CoMet 1.0 (Carbon dioxide and Methane mission) took place during May and June 2018, with a focus on greenhouse gases over Europe. CoMet 1.0 aimed at characterising the distribution of CH4 and CO2 over significant regional sources with the use of a fleet of research aircraft, as well as validating remote sensing measurements from state-of-the-art instrumentation installed on-board against a set of independent in-situ observations. Here we present the results of over 55 hours of accurate and precise in situ measurements of CO2, CH4 and CO mixing ratios made during CoMet 1.0 flights with a cavity ring-down spectrometer aboard the German research aircraft HALO, together with results from analyses of 96 discrete air samples collected aboard the same platform. A careful in-flight calibration strategy together with post-flight quality assessment made it possible to determine both the single measurement precision as well as biases against respective WMO scales. We compare the result of greenhouse gas observations against two of the available global modelling systems, namely Jena CarboScope and CAMS (Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service). We find overall good agreement between the global models and the observed mixing ratios in the free-tropospheric range, characterised by very low bias values for the CAMS CH4 and the CarboScope CO2 products, with a mean free tropospheric offset of 0 (14) ppb and 0.8 (1.3) ppm respectively, with the quoted number giving the standard uncertainty in the final digits for the numerical value. Higher bias is observed for CAMS CO2 (equal to 3.7 (1.5) ppm), and for CO the model-observation mismatch is variable with height (with offset equal to −1.0 (8.8)). We also present laboratory analyses of air samples collected throughout the flights, which include information on the isotopic composition of CH_4, and we demonstrate the potential of simultaneously measuring δ13C-CH4 and δ2H-CH4 from air to determine the sources of enhanced methane signals using even a limited amount of discrete samples. Using flasks collected during two flights over the Upper Silesian Coal Basin (USCB, southern Poland), one of the strongest methane-emitting regions in the European Union, we were able to use the Miller-Tans approach to derive the isotopic signature of the measured source, with values of δ2H equal to −224.7 (6.6) permil and δ13C to −50.9 (1.1) permil, giving significantly lower d2H values compared to previous studies in the area.

Michał Gałkowski et al.

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Michał Gałkowski et al.

Michał Gałkowski et al.


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Latest update: 22 Nov 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We present results of atmospheric measurements of greenhouse gases, performed over Europe in 2018 aboard German research aircraft HALO as part of the CoMet 1.0 (Carbon dioxide and Methane mission). In our analysis, we describe data quality, discuss observed mixing ratios and show an example of describing regional methane source using stable isotopic composition based on the collected air samples. We also quantitatively compare our results it to available atmospheric modelling systems.
We present results of atmospheric measurements of greenhouse gases, performed over Europe in...