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Near infrared nadir retrieval of vertical column densities: methodology and application to SCIAMACHY

Author(s): S. Gimeno García | F. Schreier | G. Lichtenberg | S. Slijkhuis

Journal: Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
ISSN 1867-1381

Volume: 4;
Issue: 12;
Start page: 2633;
Date: 2011;
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Nadir observations with the shortwave infrared channels of SCIAMACHY on-board the ENVISAT satellite can be used to derive information on atmospheric gases such as CO, CH4, N2O, CO2, and H2O. For the operational level 1b-2 processing of SCIAMACHY data, a new retrieval code BIRRA (Beer InfraRed Retrieval Algorithm) has been developed. BIRRA performs a nonlinear or separable least squares fit (with bound constraints optional) of the measured radiance, where molecular concentration vertical profiles are scaled to fit the observed data. Here we present the forward modeling (radiative transfer) and inversion (least squares optimization) fundamentals of the code along with the further processing steps required to generate higher level products such as global distributions and time series. Moreover, various aspects of level 1 (observed spectra) and auxiliary input data relevant for successful retrievals are discussed. BIRRA is currently used for operational analysis of carbon monoxide vertical column densities from SCIAMACHY channel 8 observations, and is being prepared for methane retrievals using channel 6 spectra. A set of representative CO retrievals and first CH4 results are presented to demonstrate BIRRA's capabilities.
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