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First intercalibration of column-averaged methane from the Total Carbon Column Observing Network and the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change

Author(s): F. Forster | R. Sussmann | M. Rettinger | N. M. Deutscher | D. W. T. Griffith | N. Jones | P. K. Patra

Journal: Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions
ISSN 1867-8610

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1355;
Date: 2012;
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We present the intercalibration of dry-air column-averaged mole fractions of methane (XCH4) retrieved from solar FTIR measurements of the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC) in the mid-infrared (MIR) versus near-infrared (NIR) soundings from the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON). The study uses multi-annual quasi-coincident MIR and NIR measurements from the stations Garmisch, Germany (47.48° N, 11.06° E, 743 m a.s.l.) and Wollongong, Australia (34.41° S, 150.88° E, 30 m a.s.l.). Direct comparison of the retrieved MIR and NIR time series shows a phase shift in XCH4 seasonality, i.e. a significant time-dependent bias leading to a standard deviation (stdv) of the difference time series (NIR-MIR) of 8.4 ppb. After eliminating differences in a prioris by using ACTM-simulated profiles as a common prior, the seasonalities of the (corrected) MIR and NIR time series agree within the noise (stdv = 5.2 ppb for the difference time series). The difference time series (NIR-MIR) do not show a significant trend. Therefore it is possible to use a simple scaling factor for the intercalibration without a time-dependent linear or seasonal component. Using the Garmisch and Wollongong data together, we obtain an overall calibration factor MIR/NIR = 0.9926(18). The individual calibration factors per station are 0.9940(14) for Garmisch and 0.9893(40) for Wollongong. They agree within their error bars with the overall calibration factor which can therefore be used for both stations. Our results suggest that after applying the proposed intercalibration concept to all stations performing both NIR and MIR measurements, it should be possible to obtain one refined overall intercalibration factor for the two networks. This would allow to set up a harmonized NDACC and TCCON XCH4 data set which can be exploited for joint trend studies, satellite validation, or the inverse modeling of sources and sinks.
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