21 Sep 2023
 | 21 Sep 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Greenhouse Gas Retrievals for the CO2M mission using the FOCAL method: First Performance Estimates

Stefan Noël, Michael Buchwitz, Michael Hilker, Maximilian Reuter, Michael Weimer, Heinrich Bovensmann, John P. Burrows, Hartmut Bösch, and Ruediger Lang

Abstract. The Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Monitoring (CO2M) mission is a constellation of satellites currently planned to be launched in 2026. CO2M is planned to be a core component of a Monitoring and Verification Support (MVS) service capacity under development as part of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS). The CO2M radiance measurements will be used to retrieve column-averaged dry-air mole fractions of atmospheric carbon dioxide (XCO2), methane (XCH4) and total columns of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Using appropriate inverse modelling, the atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) observations will be used to derive United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP 21 Paris Agreement relevant information on GHG sources and sinks. This challenging application requires highly accurate XCO2 and XCH4 retrievals. Three different retrieval algorithms to derive XCO2 and XCH4 are currently under development for the operational processing system at EUMETSAT. One of these algorithms uses the heritage of the FOCAL (Fast atmOspheric traCe gAs retrievaL) method, which has already successfully been applied to measurements from other satellites. Here, we show recent results generated using the CO2M version of FOCAL, called FOCAL-CO2M.

To assess the quality of the FOCAL-CO2M retrievals, a large set of representative simulated radiance spectra has been generated using the radiative transfer model SCIATRAN. These simulations consider the planned viewing geometry of the CO2 instrument and corresponding geophysical scene data (including different types of aerosols and varying surface properties) which were taken from model data for the year 2015. We consider instrument noise and systematic errors due to the retrieval method but have not considered additional error sources due to e.g. instrumental issues, spectroscopy, or meteorology. On the other hand, we have also not taken advantage in this study of CO2M’s MAP (Multi Angle Polarimeter) instrument, which will provide additional information on aerosols and cirrus clouds. By application of the FOCAL retrieval to these simulated data confidence is gained that the FOCAL method is able to fulfil the challenging requirements on systematic errors for the CO2M mission (spatio-temporal bias ≤ 0.5 ppm for XCO2 and ≤ 5 ppb for XCH4).

Stefan Noël et al.

Status: open (until 16 Dec 2023)

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Stefan Noël et al.

Stefan Noël et al.


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Short summary
FOCAL-CO2M is one of the three operational retrieval algorithms which will be used to derive XCO2 and XCH4 from measurements of the forthcoming European CO2M mission. We present results of applications of FOCAL-CO2M to simulated spectra, from which confidence is gained that the algorithm is able to fulfil the challenging requirements on systematic errors for the CO2M mission (spatio-temporal bias ≤ 0.5 ppm for XCO2 and ≤ 5 ppb for XCH4).