10 Nov 2021

10 Nov 2021

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

Satellite measurements of peroxyacetyl nitrate from the Cross-Track Infrared Sounder: Comparison with ATom aircraft measurements

Vivienne H. Payne1, Susan S. Kulawik2, Emily V. Fischer3, Jared F. Brewer3,4, L. Gregory Huey5, Kazuyuki Miyazaki1, John R. Worden1, Kevin W. Bowman1, Eric J. Hintsa6,7, Fred Moore6,7, James W. Elkins7, and Julieta Juncosa Calahorrano3 Vivienne H. Payne et al.
  • 1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA
  • 2Bay Area Environmental Research Institute/NASA Ames, Mountain View, California, USA
  • 3Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
  • 4Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  • 5Georgia Tech, Georgia, USA
  • 6Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 7Global Monitoring Laboratory, NOAA, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Abstract. We present an overview of an optimal estimation algorithm to retrieve peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) from single field of view Level 1B radiances measured by the Cross-Track Infrared Sounder (CrIS). CrIS PAN retrievals show peak sensitivity in the mid-troposphere, with degrees of freedom for signal less than or equal to 1.0. We show comparisons with two sets of aircraft measurements from the Atmospheric Tomography Mission (ATom), the PAN and Trace Hydrohalocarbon ExpeRiment (PANTHER) and the Georgia Tech Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometer (GT-CIMS). We find a systematic difference between the two aircraft datasets, with vertically averaged mid-tropospheric values from the GT-CIMS around 14 % lower than equivalent values from the PANTHER. However, the two sets of aircraft measurements are strongly correlated (R2 value of 0.92) and do provide a consistent view of the large-scale variation of PAN. We demonstrate that the retrievals of PAN from CrIS show skill in measurement of these large-scale PAN distributions in the remote mid-troposphere compared to the retrieval prior. The standard deviation of individual CrIS-aircraft differences is 0.08 ppbv, which we take as an estimate of the uncertainty of the CrIS mid-tropospheric PAN for a single satellite field of view. The standard deviation of the CrIS-aircraft comparisons for averaged CrIS retrievals (median of 20 satellite co-incidences with each aircraft profile) is lower, at 0.05 ppbv. This would suggest that the retrieval error reduces with averaging, although not with the square root of the number of observations. We find a negative bias of order 0.1 ppbv in the CrIS PAN results with respect to the aircraft measurements. This bias does not appear to show a dependence on latitude or season.

Vivienne H. Payne et al.

Status: open (until 16 Dec 2021)

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Vivienne H. Payne et al.

Data sets

ATom: Merged Atmospheric Chemistry, Trace Gases, and Aerosols S. C. Wofsy and the Atom team

CrIS PAN retrievals Vivienne H. Payne and Susan S. Kulawik,

Model code and software

GEOS Chem GEOS Chem community

Vivienne H. Payne et al.


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Short summary
We compare new satellite measurements of peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) with reference aircraft measurements from two different instruments flown on the same platform. While there is a systematic difference between the two aircraft datasets, both show the same large-scale distribution of PAN and the discrepancy between aircraft datasets is small compared to the satellite uncertainties. The satellite measurements show skill in capturing large-scale variations in PAN.