Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 6, 12301-12345, 2006
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Near-real time retrieval of tropospheric NO2 from OMI
K. F. Boersma1,*, H. J. Eskes1, J. P. Veefkind1, E. J. Brinksma1, R. J. van der A1, M. Sneep1, G. H. J. van der Oord1, P. F. Levelt1, P. Stammes1, J. F. Gleason2, and E. J. Bucsela2
1KNMI, De Bilt, The Netherlands
2NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
*now at: Harvard University, Cambridge, USA

Abstract. We present a new algorithm for the near-real time retrieval – within 3 h of the actual satellite measurement – of tropospheric NO2 columns from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI). The retrieval system is based on the combined retrieval-assimilation-modelling approach developed at KNMI for off-line tropospheric NO2 from the GOME and SCIAMACHY satellite instruments. We have adapted the off-line system such that the required a priori information ndash; profile shapes and stratospheric background NO2 ndash; is now immediately available upon arrival of the OMI NO2 slant columns and cloud data at KNMI. Slant column NO2 and cloud information arrives at KNMI typically within 80 min of actual OMI observations. Slant columns for NO2 are retrieved using differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) in the 405–465 nm range. Cloud fraction and cloud pressure are provided by a new cloud retrieval algorithm that uses the absorption of the O2–O2 collision complex near 477 nm. On-line availability of stratospheric slant columns and NO2 profiles is achieved by running the TM4 chemistry transport model (CTM) forward in time based on forecast ECMWF meteo and assimilated NO2 information from all previously observed orbits. OMI NO2 slant columns, after correction for spurious across-track variability, show a random error for individual pixels of approximately 0.7×–2. As NO2 retrievals are very sensitive to clouds, we evaluated the consistency of cloud fraction and cloud pressure from the new O2–O2 (OMI) algorithm and from the Fast Retrieval Scheme for Cloud Observables (FRESCO). Cloud parameters from the O2–O2 (OMI) algorithm have similar frequency distributions as cloud parameters retrieved from FRESCO (SCIAMACHY) for August 2006. On average, OMI cloud fractions are higher by 0.011, and OMI cloud pressures exceed FRESCO cloud pressures by 60 hPa. As a consistency check, we intercompared OMI near-real time NO2 columns measured at 13:45 h local time to SCIAMACHY off-line NO2 columns measured at 10:00 h local time. In August 2006, both instruments observe very similar spatial patterns of tropospheric NO2 columns, and small differences for most locations on Earth where tropospheric NO2 columns are small. For regions that are strongly polluted, SCIAMACHY observes higher tropospheric NO2 columns than OMI.

Citation: Boersma, K. F., Eskes, H. J., Veefkind, J. P., Brinksma, E. J., van der A, R. J., Sneep, M., van der Oord, G. H. J., Levelt, P. F., Stammes, P., Gleason, J. F., and Bucsela, E. J.: Near-real time retrieval of tropospheric NO2 from OMI, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 6, 12301-12345, doi:10.5194/acpd-6-12301-2006, 2006.
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