1Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5S 1A7, Canada
2Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1, Canada
3Department of Chemistry, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK
4Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, B3H 3J5, Canada
Abstract. An intercomparison of three Fourier transform spectrometers (FTSs) with significantly different resolutions is presented. The highest-resolution instrument has a maximum optical path difference of 250 cm, and the two lower-resolution instruments have maximum optical path differences of 50 cm and 25 cm. The results indicate that the two lower-resolution instruments can retrieve total column amounts of O3, HCl, N2O and CH4 using the SFIT2 retrieval code with percent differences from the high-resolution instrument generally better than 3%, with respect to the high-resolution FTS. Total column amounts of the stratospheric species (O3 and HCl) have larger differences than those of the tropospheric species (N2O and CH4). Instrument line shape (ILS) information is found to be of critical importance when retrieving total columns of stratospheric gases from the lower-resolution instruments. Including the ILS information in the retrievals significantly reduces the difference in total column amounts between the three instruments. The remaining errors for stratospheric species total column amounts can be attributed to the lower sensitivity of the lower-resolution FTSs to the stratosphere.