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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-21
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Apr 2018

Research article | 13 Apr 2018

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

IASI nitrous oxide (N2O) retrievals: validation and application to transport studies at daily time scales

Yannick Kangah1, Philippe Ricaud1, Jean-Luc Attié2, Naoko Saitoh3, Jérôme Vidot4, Pascal Brunel4, and Samuel Quesada-Ruiz1 Yannick Kangah et al.
  • 1CNRM-GAME, Météo-France/CNRS UMR 3589, Toulouse, France
  • 2Université de Toulouse, Laboratoire d’Aérologie, CNRS UMR 5560, Toulouse, France
  • 3Center for Environmental Remote Sensing, Chiba University, Japan
  • 4Centre de Météorologie Spatiale,DP/Météo-France, Lannion, France

Abstract. The aim of this paper is to present a method to retrieve nitrous oxide (N2O) vertical profiles from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) onboard the MetOp platform. We retrieved N2O profiles using IASI clear sky radiances in 2 spectral bands: B1 and B2 centered at ∼1280cm−1 and ∼2220cm−1, respectively. Both retrievals in B1 and B2 (hereafter referred to as N2O_B1 and N2O_B2, respectively) are sensitive to the mid-to-upper troposphere with a maximum of sensitivity at around 309hPa. The degrees of freedom for N2O_B1 and N2O_B2 are 1.38 and 0.93, respectively. We validated the retrievals using the High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO). The comparisons between HIPPO and the two retrieved datasets show relatively low standard deviation errors around 1.5% (∼4.8ppbv) and 1.0% (∼3.2ppbv) for N2O_B1 and N2O_B2, respectively. However, the impact of H2O contamination on N2O_B1 due to its strong absorption bands in B1 significantly degrades the quality of the retrievals in tropical regions. We analysed the scientific consistency of the retrievals at 309hPa with a focus on the long-range transport of N2O especially during the Asian summer monsoon. Over the mid-latitude regions, both variations of N2O_B1 and N2O_B2 at 309hPa are influenced by the stratospheric N2O-depleted air because of the relative coarse shape of the averaging kernel. The analysis of N2O_B2 using results from backtrajectories exhibits the capacity of these retrievals to capture long-range transport of air masses from Asia to northern Africa via the summer monsoon anticyclone on a daily basis. Thus, N2O_B1 and N2O_B2 offer an unprecedented possibility to study global upper tropospheric N2O on a daily basis.

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