23 Feb 2021

23 Feb 2021

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

Synergetic use of IASI and TROPOMI space borne sensors for generating a tropospheric methane profile product

Matthias Schneider1, Benjamin Ertl1,2, Christopher J. Diekmann1, Farahnaz Khosrawi1, Amelie N. Röhling1, Frank Hase1, Darko Dubravica1, Omaira E. García3, Eliezer Sepúlveda3, Tobias Borsdorff4, Jochen Landgraf4, Alba Lorente4, Huilin Chen5, Rigel Kivi6, Thomas Laemmel7,a, Michel Ramonet7, Cyril Crevoisier8, Jérome Pernin8, Martin Steinbacher9, Frank Meinhardt10, Nicholas M. Deutscher11, David W. T. Griffith11, Voltaire A. Velazco11,b, and David F. Pollard12 Matthias Schneider et al.
  • 1Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-ASF), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 2Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 3Izaña Atmospheric Research Center, Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (AEMET), Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
  • 4Earth Science Group, SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 5Center for Isotope Research, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  • 6Space and Earth Observation Centre, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Sodankylä, Finland
  • 7Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE), CEA, 91191 Gif sur Yvette, France
  • 8LMD/IPSL, CNRS, Ecole polytechnique, University Paris-Saclay, Palaiseau, France
  • 9Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA), Dübendorf, Switzerland
  • 10Air Monitoring Network, Federal Environment Agency (UBA), Langen, Germany
  • 11Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia
  • 12National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA), Lauder, New Zealand
  • anow at: Laboratory for the Analysis of Radiocarbon with AMS (LARA) Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences (DCBP) & Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR), University of Bern, Switzerland
  • bnow at: Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), Albin-Schwaiger-Weg 10, Hohenpeissenberg, Germany

Abstract. The thermal infrared nadir spectra of IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer) are successfully used for retrievals of different atmospheric trace gas profiles. However, these retrievals offer generally reduced information about the lowermost tropospheric layer due to the lack of thermal contrast close to the surface. Spectra of scattered solar radiation observed in the near and/or short wave infrared, for instance by TROPOMI (TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument) offer higher sensitivity near ground and are used for the retrieval of total column averaged mixing ratios of a variety of atmospheric trace gases. Here we present a method for the synergetic use of IASI profile and TROPOMI total column data. Our method uses the output of the individual retrievals and consists of linear algebra a posteriori calculations (i.e. calculation after the individual retrievals). We show that this approach is largely equivalent to applying the spectra of the different sensors together in a single retrieval procedure, but with the substantial advantage of being applicable to data generated with different individual retrieval processors, of being very time efficient, and of directly benefiting from the high quality and most recent improvements of the individual retrieval processors.

We demonstrate the method exemplarily for atmospheric methane (CH4). We perform a theoretical evaluation and show that the a posteriori combination method yields a total column averaged CH4 product (XCH4) that conserves the good sensitivity of the corresponding TROPOMI product while merging it with the upper tropospheric and lower stratospheric (UTLS) CH4 partial column information of the corresponding IASI product. As consequence, the combined product offers in addition sensitivity for the tropospheric CH4 partial column, which is not provided by the individual TROPOMI nor the individual IASI product. The theoretically predicted synergetic effects are verified by comparisons to CH4 reference data obtained from collocated XCH4 measurements at six globally distributed TCCON (Total Carbon Column Observing Network) stations, CH4 profile measurements made by 24 individual AirCore soundings, and lower tropospheric CH4 data derived from continuous ground-based in-situ observations made at two nearby Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) mountain stations. The comparisons clearly demonstrate that the combined product can reliably detect XCH4 signals and allows to distinguish between tropospheric and UTLS CH4 partial column averaged mixing ratios, which is not possible by the individual TROPOMI and IASI products. We find indications of a weak positive bias of about +1 % of the combined lower tropospheric data product with respect to the references. For the UTLS CH4 partial columns we find no significant bias.

Matthias Schneider 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-2021-31', Thomas von Clarmann, 23 Mar 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Matthias Schneider, 29 Mar 2021
  • CC1: 'Comment on amt-2021-31', Simone Ceccherini, 16 Apr 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2021-31', Anonymous Referee #2, 25 May 2021
  • RC3: 'Comment on amt-2021-31', Anonymous Referee #3, 28 May 2021

Matthias Schneider et al.

Data sets

MUSICA IASI data Matthias Schneider, Benjamin Ertl, and Christopher J. Diekmann

TROPOMI data Tobias Borsdorff, Jochen Landgraf, and Alba Lorente

TCCON data Divers, station dependent

GAW data Divers, station dependent

Matthias Schneider et al.


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Short summary
We present a computationally very efficient method for the synergetic use of different remote sensing data sets. We apply the method to IASI vertical profile and TROPOMI total column space borne methane observations and thus gain sensitivity for the tropospheric methane partial columns, which is not achievable by the individual use of TROPOMI and IASI. These synergetic effects are evaluated theoretically and by inter-comparisons to independent references of TCCON, AirCore, and GAW.