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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Jun 2018

Research article | 13 Jun 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Stratosphere-troposphere separation of nitrogen dioxide columns from the TEMPO geostationary satellite instrument

Jeffrey A. Geddes1,a, Randall V. Martin1,2, Eric J. Bucsela3, Chris A. McLinden4, and Daniel J. M. Cunningham1 Jeffrey A. Geddes et al.
  • 1Department of Physics and At mospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
  • 2Harvard - Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  • 3SRI International, Menlo Park, Ca lifornia, USA
  • 4Air Quality Research Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • anow at: the Department of Earth and Environment, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA

Abstract. Separating the stratospheric and tropospheric contributions in satellite retrievals of atmospheric NO2 column abundance is a crucial step in the interpretation and application of the satellite observations. A variety of stratosphere-troposphere separation algorithms have been developed for sun-synchronous instruments in low Earth orbit (LEO) that benefit from global coverage, including broad clean regions with negligible tropospheric NO2 compared to stratospheric NO2. These global sun-synchronous algorithms need to be evaluated and refined for forthcoming geostationary instruments focused on continental regions, which lack this global context and require hourly estimates of the stratospheric column. Here we develop and assess a spatial filtering algorithm for the upcoming TEMPO geostationary instrument that will target North America. Developments include using independent satellite observations to identify likely locations of tropospheric enhancements, using independent LEO observations for spatial context, consideration of diurnally-varying partial fields of regard, and a filter based on stratospheric to tropospheric air mass factor ratios. We test the algorithm with LEO observations from the OMI instrument with an afternoon overpass, and from the GOME-2 instrument with a morning overpass. We compare our TEMPO field of regard algorithm against an identical global algorithm to investigate the penalty resulting from the limited spatial coverage in geostationary orbit, and find excellent agreement in the estimated mean daily tropospheric NO2 column densities (R2=0.999, slope=1.009 for July and R2=0.998, slope=0.999 for January). The algorithm performs well even when only small parts of the continent are observed by TEMPO. The algorithm is challenged the most by east coast morning retrievals in the wintertime (e.g. R2=0.995, slope=1.038 at 1400UTC). We find independent global low Earth observations (corrected for time of day) provide important context near the field-of-regard edges. We also test the performance of the TEMPO algorithm without these supporting global observations. Most of the continent is unaffected (R2=0.924 and slope=0.973 for July and R2=0.996 and slope=1.008 for January), with 90% of the pixels having differences of less than ±0.2x1015moleculescm−2 between the TEMPO tropospheric NO2 column density and the global algorithm. For near-real-time retrieval, even a climatological estimate of the stratospheric NO2 surrounding the field of regard would improve this agreement. In general, the additional penalty of a limited field of regard from TEMPO introduces no more error than normally expected in most global stratosphere-troposphere separation algorithms. Overall, we conclude that hourly near-real-time stratosphere-troposphere separation for the retrieval of NO2 tropospheric column densities by the TEMPO geostationary instrument is both feasible and robust, regardless of the diurnally-varying limited field of regard.

Jeffrey A. Geddes et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Jeffrey A. Geddes et al.
Jeffrey A. Geddes et al.
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Short summary
This paper describes an approach for separating the stratospheric and tropospheric contributions in geostationary observations of nitrogen dioxide from the upcoming TEMPO instrument. We find minimal impact of the limited field of observation compared to previous low Earth observing systems with global coverage. We find that continued development of low Earth orbit retrievals will benefit geostationary data by providing important context outside the field of regard.
This paper describes an approach for separating the stratospheric and tropospheric contributions...