06 Jul 2021

06 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Inter-comparison of CO measurements from TROPOMI, ACE-FTS, and a high-Arctic ground-based FTS

Tyler Wizenberg1, Kimberly Strong1, Kaley Walker1, Erik Lutsch1, Tobias Borsdorff2, and Jochen Landgraf2 Tyler Wizenberg et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Abstract. ACE/TROPOMI Abstract for AMT submission The TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) provides a daily, spatially-resolved (initially 7 × 7 km2, upgraded to 7 × 5.6 km2 in August 2019) global data set of CO columns, however, due to the relative sparseness of reliable ground-based data sources, it can be challenging to characterize the validity and accuracy of satellite data products in remote regions such as the high Arctic. In these regions, satellite inter-comparisons can supplement model- and ground-based validation efforts and serve to verify previously observed differences. In this paper, we compare the CO products from TROPOMI, the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS), and a high-Arctic ground-based FTS located at the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) in Eureka, Nunavut (80.05° N, 86.42° W).

A global comparison of TROPOMI reference profiles scaled by the retrieved total column with ACE-FTS CO partial columns for the period from 10 November 2017 to 31 May 2020 displays excellent agreement between the two data sets (R = 0.93), and a small relative bias of −0.68 ± 0.25 % (bias ± standard error). Additional comparisons were performed within five latitude bands; the north Polar region (60° N to 90° N), northern Mid-latitudes (20° N to 60° N), the Equatorial region (20° S to 20° N), southern Mid-latitudes (60° S to 20° S), and the south Polar region (90° S to 60° S). Latitudinal comparisons of the TROPOMI and ACE-FTS CO datasets show strong correlations ranging from R = 0.93 (southern Mid-latitudes) to R = 0.85 (Equatorial region) between the CO products, but display a dependence of the mean differences on latitude. Positive mean biases of 7.92 ± 0.58 % and 7.98 ± 0.51 % were found in the northern and southern Polar regions, respectively, while a negative bias of −9.16 ± 0.55 % was observed in the Equatorial region. To investigate whether these differences are introduced by cloud contamination which is reflected in the TROPOMI averaging kernel shape, the latitudinal comparisons were repeated for cloud-covered pixels and clear-sky pixels only, and for the unsmoothed and smoothed cases. Clear-sky pixels were found to be biased higher with poorer correlations on average than clear+cloudy scenes and cloud-covered scenes only. Furthermore, the latitudinal dependence on the biases was observed in both the smoothed and unsmoothed cases.

To provide additional context to the global comparisons of TROPOMI with ACE-FTS in the Arctic, both satellite data sets were compared against measurements from the ground-based PEARL-FTS. Comparisons of TROPOMI with smoothed PEARL-FTS total columns in the period of 3 March 2018 to 27 March 2020 display a strong correlation (R = 0.88), however a positive mean bias of 14.3 ± 0.16 % was also found. A partial column comparison of ACE-FTS with the PEARL-FTS in the period from 25 February 2007 to 18 March 2020 shows good agreement (R = 0.82), and a mean positive bias of 9.83 ± 0.22 % in the ACE-FTS product relative to the ground-based FTS. The magnitude and sign of the mean relative differences are consistent across all inter-comparisons in this work, as well as with recent ground-based validation efforts, suggesting that current TROPOMI CO product exhibits a positive bias in the high-Arctic region. However, the observed bias is within the TROPOMI mission accuracy requirement of ±15 %, providing further confirmation that the data quality in these remote high-latitude regions meets this specification.

Tyler Wizenberg et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2021-190', Anonymous Referee #1, 31 Aug 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Tyler Wizenberg, 21 Oct 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2021-190', Bavo Langerock, 15 Sep 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Tyler Wizenberg, 21 Oct 2021

Tyler Wizenberg et al.

Tyler Wizenberg et al.


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Short summary
CO is an important atmospheric gas that influences both air quality and the climate. Here, we compare CO measurements from the TROPOMI instrument with those from ACE-FTS and an Arctic ground-based FTS at Eureka, Nunavut to further characterize the accuracy of TROPOMI measurements. CO columns from the instruments agree well, but show larger differences at high latitudes. Despite this, the results fall within the TROPOMI accuracy target, indicating good data quality at high-latitudes.