Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-286
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-286

  08 Nov 2021

08 Nov 2021

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

Quantification of lightning-produced NOx over the Pyrenees and the Ebro Valley by using different TROPOMI-NO2 and cloud research products

Francisco Javier Pérez-Invernón1, Heidi Huntrieser1, Thilo Erbertseder2, Diego Loyola3, Pieter Valks3, Song Liu3, Dale J. Allen4, Kenneth E. Pickering4, Eric J. Bucsela5, Patrick Jöckel1, Jos van Geffen6, Henk Eskes6, Sergio Soler7, Francisco J. Gordillo-Vázquez7, and Jeff Lapierre8 Francisco Javier Pérez-Invernón et al.
  • 1Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 2Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Deutsches Fernerkundungsdatenzentrum, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 3Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Methodik der Fernerkundung, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 4University of Maryland, USA
  • 5SRI International, USA
  • 6Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, Netherlands
  • 7Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, CSIC, Glorieta de la Astronomía s/n, Granada, Spain
  • 8Earth Networks, Germantown, MD, USA

Abstract. Lightning is one of the major sources of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the atmosphere, contributing to the tropospheric concentration of ozone and to the oxidising capacity of the atmosphere. Lightning produces between 2–8 Tg N per year globally and on average about 250 ± 150 mol NOx per flash. In this work, we estimate the moles of NOx produced per flash (LNOx production efficiency) in the Pyrenees (Spain, France and Andorra) and in the Ebro Valley (Spain) by using nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and cloud properties from the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) and lightning data from the Earth Networks Global Lightning Network (ENGLN) and from the EUropean Co-operation for LIghtning Detection (EUCLID). The Pyrenees is one of the areas in Europe with the highest lightning frequency and, due to its remoteness as well as experiencing very low NOx background, enables us to better distinguish the LNOx signal produced by recent lightning in TROPOMI NO2 measurements. We compare the LNOx production efficiency estimates for 8 convective systems in 2018 using two different sets of TROPOMI research products, provided by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), respectively. According to our results, the mean LNOx production efficiency in the Pyrenees and in the Ebro Valley, using a three-hour chemical lifetime, ranges between 14 and 103 mol NOx per flash from the 8 systems. The mean LNOx production efficiency estimates obtained using both TROPOMI products and ENGLN lightning data differ by ∼23 %, while it differs by ∼35 % when using EUCLID lightning data. The main sources of uncertainty when using ENGLN lightning data are the estimation of background NOx that is not produced by lightning and the time window before the TROPOMI overpass that is used to count the total number of lightning flashes contributing to fresh-produced LNOx. The main source of uncertainty when using EUCLID lightning data is the uncertainty in the detection efficiency of EUCLID.

Francisco Javier Pérez-Invernón et al.

Status: open (until 13 Dec 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Francisco Javier Pérez-Invernón et al.

Data sets

ISS-LIS lightning data NASA https://ghrc.nsstc.nasa.gov/lightning/data/data_lis_iss.html

TROPOMI data ESA https://s5phub.copernicus.eu/

ERA5 meteorological data Copernicus Climate Change Service https://cds.climate.copernicus.eu/cdsapp

IAGOS-CARIBIC data IAGOS-CARIBIC https://www.iagos.org/iagos-data/

Francisco Javier Pérez-Invernón et al.

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Short summary
Lightning is one of the major sources of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the atmosphere, contributing to the tropospheric concentration of ozone and to the oxidising capacity of the atmosphere. In this work, we contribute to improve the estimations of lighting-produced NOx in the Ebro Valley and the Pyrenees by using two different TROPOMI products and comparing the results.