29 Nov 2022
29 Nov 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Vertical information of CO from TROPOMI total column measurements in context of the CAMS-IFS data assimilation scheme

Tobias Borsdorff1, Teresa Campos2, Natalie Kille3,4,5, Rainer Volkamer3,4,5, and Jochen Landgraf1 Tobias Borsdorff et al.
  • 1Netherlands Institute for Space Research, SRON, Leiden, the Netherlands
  • 2Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modeling Laboratory and Earth Observing Laboratory National Center for Atmospheric Research Boulder, Colorado USA
  • 3Department of Chemistry, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 4Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 5Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Abstract. Since 2017 the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) onboard ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-5 satellite (S5-P) has provided the operational Carbon Monoxide (CO) data product with daily global coverage on a spatial resolution of 5.5 × 7 km2 (7× 7 km2 before August 2019). The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) plans to assimilate the retrieved total columns and the corresponding vertical sensitivities in the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service Integrated Forecasting System (CAMS-IFS) to improve forecasts of the atmospheric chemical composition. The TROPOMI data will primarily constrain the vertical integrated CO field (VCD) of CAMS-IFS but to a lesser extent also its vertical CO distribution as well. For clear-sky conditions, the vertical sensitivity of the TROPOMI CO data product is useful throughout the atmosphere but for cloudy scenes it varies due to cloud shielding and light scattering. To assess the profile information, we deploy a posteriori profile retrieval that combines individual TROPOMI CO column retrievals with different vertical sensitivities to obtain a vertical CO profile that is then a representative average for the chosen spatial and temporal domain. We demonstrate the approach on three CO pollution cases. For the so called “Rabbit Foot Fire” in Idaho on the 12 August 2018, we estimate a CO profile showing the pollution at an altitude of about 5 km in good agreement with airborne in-situ measurements of the Biomass Burning fluxes of trace gases and aerosols (BB-FLUX) field campaign. The distinct CO enhancement in a plume aloft, decoupled from the ground, is sensed by TROPOMI but is not present in the CAMS-IFS model. For a large-scale event, we analyzed the CO pollution from Siberian wildfires that took place from 14 to 18 August 2018. The TROPOMI data is estimating the height of the pollution plume over Canada at 7 km in agreement with CAMS-IFS. However, CAMS-IFS underestimates the enhanced CO vertical column densities sensed by TROPOMI within the plume by more than 100 ppb. Finally, we study the seasonal biomass burning in the Amazon. During the burning season (1–15 August 2019) the CO profile retrieved from the TROPOMI measurements agrees well with the one of CAMS-IFS with a similar vertical shape between ground and 14 km altitude. Hence, our results indicate that assimilating TROPOMI CO retrieval with different vertical sensitivities e.g., under clear-sky and cloudy conditions provide information about the vertical distribution of CO.

Tobias Borsdorff et al.

Status: open (until 02 Mar 2023)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2022-315', Anonymous Referee #1, 31 Dec 2022 reply

Tobias Borsdorff et al.

Tobias Borsdorff et al.


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Short summary
ECMWFs plans to assimilate TROPOMI CO with their CAMS-IFS model. This will constrain the total column but also the vertical CO distribution of the model. To show this, we combine individual TROPOMI CO column retrievals with different vertical sensitivities and obtains a vertical CO concentration profile. We test the approach on three CO pollution events in comparison with CAMS-IFS simulations that does not assimilate TROPOMI CO data and in-situ airborne measurements of the BB-FLUX campaign.