1National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Tsukuba, Japan
2Meteorological Research Institute (MRI), Tsukuba, Japan
3National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO, USA
4Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Yokohama, Japan
*now at: Graduate School of Nature Science and Technology, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan
Abstract. Atmospheric column-averaged mole fractions of carbon dioxide (XCO2) at 53 locations around the world were derived from aircraft measurements covering the altitude range of about 1–10 km. We used CO2 vertical profile measurements from three major carbon cycle programs, a global climatological data set of air number density profiles and tropopause height for calculating XCO2 for the period of 2007–2009. Vertical profiles of the CO2 mixing ratio are complemented by tall tower data up to 400 m from the earth's surface and by simulated profiles in the stratosphere from a chemistry-transport model. The amplitude of the seasonal cycle of calculated XCO2 values shows clear latitudinal dependence, and the amplitude decreases from about 10 ppm at high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere to at most 2 ppm in the tropics and the Southern Hemisphere. The uncertainties of XCO2 were estimated from assumptions about CO2 profiles for each flight. Typically, uncertainties were less than 1 ppm; thus, this data set is within the level of uncertainty needed for primary validation of XCO2 measurements by the Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) and by future satellite missions for monitoring greenhouse gases.