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Monitoring the lowermost tropospheric ozone with thermal infrared observations from a geostationary platform: performance analyses for a future dedicated instrument

Author(s): P. Sellitto | G. Dufour | M. Eremenko | J. Cuesta | G. Forêt | B. Gaubert | M. Beekmann | V. -H Peuch | J.-M. Flaud

Journal: Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions
ISSN 1867-8610

Volume: 6;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 6445;
Date: 2013;
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In this paper, we present performance analyses for a concept geostationary observing system called MAGEAQ (Monitoring the Atmosphere from Geostationary orbit for European Air Quality). The MAGEAQ mission is designed to include a TIR spectrometer and a broadband VIS radiometer; in this work we study only the TIR component (MAGEAQ-TIR). We have produced about 20 days of MAGEAQ-TIR tropospheric ozone pseudo-observations with a full forward and inverse radiative transfer pseudo-observations simulator. We have studied the expected sensitivity of MAGEAQ-TIR and we have found that a completely independent surface −6 km ozone column (about 1.0 DOF (degrees of freedom) and maximum sensitivity at about 3.0 km, on average), as well as a partially independent surface −3 km ozone column (about 0.6 DOF and maximum sensitivity at about 2.5 km, on average) can be achieved. Then, we have compared the tropospheric ozone profiles and the lower (surface −6 km) and lowermost (surface −3 km) tropospheric ozone column pseudo-observations to the target pseudo-reality, produced with the MOCAGE (MOdèle de Chimie Atmosphérique à Grande Echelle) chemistry and transport model. We have found very small to not significant average biases (< 1% in absolute value, for the surface −6 km TOC, and about −2 to −3%, for the surface −3 km TOC) and small RMSEs (about 1.3 DU (5%), for the surface −6 km TOC, and about 1.5 DU (10%), for the surface −3 km TOC). We have tested the performances of MAGEAQ-TIR at some selected small (0.2° × 0.2°) urban and rural locations. We have found that, while the vertical structures of the lower tropospheric ozone pseudo-reality are sometimes missed, MAGEAQ-TIR lower and lowermost column pseudo-observations follow stunningly good the MOCAGE column pseudo-reality, with correlation coefficients reaching values of 0.9 or higher. Unprecedented retrieval performances for the lowermost tropospheric ozone column are shown. In any case, our MAGEAQ-TIR pseudo-observations are only partially able to replicate the MOCAGE pseudo-reality variability and temporal cycle at the very lowest layers (surface and 1 km altitude), especially at Southern European urban locations, where the photochemistry signal is partially missed or shifted at higher altitudes. Temporal artifact on the daily cycle are sometimes observed. Stratospheric-to-tropospheric exchanges during short time periods (of the order of 1 day) are detected by the MAGEAQ-TIR pseudo-observations.
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