16 Feb 2023
 | 16 Feb 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Evaluating the consistency between OCO-2 and OCO-3 XCO2 estimates derived from the NASA ACOS version 10 retrieval algorithm

Thomas E. Taylor, Christopher W. O'Dell, David Baker, Carol Bruegge, Albert Chang, Lars Chapsky, Abhishek Chatterjee, Cecilia Cheng, Frédéric Chevallier, David Crisp, Lan Dang, Brian Drouin, Annmarie Eldering, Liang Feng, Brendan Fisher, Dejian Fu, Michael Gunson, Vance Haemmerle, Graziela R. Keller, Matthäus Kiel, Le Kuai, Thomas Kurosu, Alyn Lambert, Joshua Laughner, Richard Lee, Junjie Liu, Lucas Mandrake, Yuliya Marchetti, Gregory McGarragh, Aronne Merrelli, Robert R. Nelson, Greg Osterman, Fabiano Oyafuso, Paul I. Palmer, Vivienne H. Payne, Robert Rosenberg, Peter Somkuti, Gary Spiers, Cathy To, Paul O. Wennberg, Shanshan Yu, and Jia Zong

Abstract. The version 10 (v10) Atmospheric Carbon Observations from Space (ACOS) Level 2 Full Physics (L2FP) retrieval algorithm has been applied to multi-year records of observations from NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory -2 and -3 sensors (OCO-2 and OCO-3, respectively) to provide estimates of the carbon dioxide (CO2) column-averaged dry-air mole fraction (XCO2). In this study, a number of improvements to the ACOS v10 L2FP algorithm are described. The post-processing quality filtering and bias correction of the XCO2 estimates against multiple truth proxies are also discussed. The OCO v10 data volumes and XCO2 estimates from the two sensors for the time period August 2019 through February 2022 are compared, highlighting differences in spatiotemporal sampling, but demonstrating broad agreement between the two sensors where they overlap in time and space. A number of evaluation sources applied to both sensors suggest they are broadly similar in data and error characteristics. Mean OCO-3 differences relative to collocated OCO-2 data are approximately 0.2 ppm and −0.3 ppm for land and ocean observations, respectively. Comparison of XCO2 estimates to collocated Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) measurements show root mean squared errors (RMSE) of approximately 0.8 ppm and 0.9 ppm for OCO-2 and OCO-3, respectively. An evaluation against XCO2 fields derived from atmospheric inversion systems that assimilated only near-surface CO2 observations, i.e., did not assimilate satellite CO2 measurements, yielded RMSEs of 1.0 ppm and 1.1 ppm for OCO-2 and OCO-3, respectively. Evaluation of errors in small areas, as well as biases across land-ocean crossings, also show encouraging results, for each sensor and in their agreement. Taken together, our results demonstrate a broad consistency of OCO-2 and OCO-3 XCO2 measurements, suggesting they may be used together for scientific analyses.

Thomas E. Taylor 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-2022-329', Anonymous Referee #2, 08 Mar 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2022-329', Anonymous Referee #1, 09 Mar 2023

Thomas E. Taylor et al.

Thomas E. Taylor et al.


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Short summary
NASA's Orbiting Carbon Observatory -2 and -3 (OCO-2 and OCO-3, respectively) provide complementary spatiotemporal coverage from a sun-synchronous and precessing orbit, respectively. Estimates of total column carbon dioxide (XCO2) derived from the two sensors show broad consistency over a two and half year overlapping time record. This suggest that data from the two satellites may be used together for scientific analysis.