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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/acp-2016-1003
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
01 Mar 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Comparison of tropospheric NO2 columns from MAX-DOAS retrievals and regional air quality model simulations
Anne-Marlene Blechschmidt1, Joaquim Arteta2, Adriana Coman3, Lyana Curier4,a, Henk Eskes5, Gilles Foret3, Clio Gielen6, Francois Hendrick6, Virginie Marécal2, Frédérik Meleux7, Jonathan Parmentier2, Enno Peters1, Gaia Pinardi6, Ankie J. M. Piters5, Matthieu Plu2, Andreas Richter1, Mikhail Sofiev8, Álvaro M. Valdebenito9, Michel Van Roozendael6, Julius Vira8, Tim Vlemmix10, and John P. Burrows1 1Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, IUP-UB, Bremen, Germany
2Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques, Météo-France-CNRS, UMR 3589, Toulouse, France
3Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques, CNRS/INSU UMR7583, Université Paris-Est Créteil et Université Paris Diderot, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Créteil, France
4TNO, Climate Air and Sustainability Unit, Utrecht, the Netherlands
5Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, KNMI, De Bilt, the Netherlands
6Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, BIRA-IASB, Brussels, Belgium
7Institut National de l'Environnement et des RISques industriels, INERIS, Verneuil en Halatte, France
8Finnish Meteorological Institute, FMI, Helsinki, Finland
9Norwegian Meteorological Institute, MetNo, Oslo, Norway
10TU-Delft, Delft, the Netherlands
anow at: Faculty of Humanities and Sciences, Department of Biobased Materials, Maastricht University, Geleen, the Netherlands
Abstract. Tropospheric NO2 is hazardous to human health and can lead to tropospheric ozone formation, eutrophication of ecosystems and acid rain production. It is therefore important to establish accurate data based on models and observations to understand and monitor tropospheric NO2 concentrations on a regional and global scale.

In the present study, MAX-DOAS tropospheric NO2 column retrievals from four European measurement stations are compared to regional model ensemble simulations. The latter are based on regional air quality models which contribute to the European regional ensemble forecasts and reanalyses of the operational Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS). Compared to other observational data usually applied for regional model validation, MAX-DOAS data is closer to the regional model data in terms of horizontal and vertical resolution and measurements are available during daylight.

In general, there is a good agreement between simulated and retrieved NO2 column values for individual MAX-DOAS measurements with correlations between 45 and 75 % for tropospheric NO2 VCDs, indicating that the model ensemble represents the emission and tropospheric chemistry of NOx (NO + NO2) well. Pollution transport towards the stations is on average well represented by the models. However, large differences are found for individual pollution plumes. Seasonal cycles are overestimated, weekly cycles are reproduced well and diurnal cycles poorly represented by the model ensemble. In particular, simulated morning rush hour peaks are not confirmed by MAX-DOAS retrievals. Our results demonstrate that a large number of validation points are available from MAX-DOAS measurements, which should therefore be used more extensively in future regional air quality modelling studies.


Citation: Blechschmidt, A.-M., Arteta, J., Coman, A., Curier, L., Eskes, H., Foret, G., Gielen, C., Hendrick, F., Marécal, V., Meleux, F., Parmentier, J., Peters, E., Pinardi, G., Piters, A. J. M., Plu, M., Richter, A., Sofiev, M., Valdebenito, Á. M., Van Roozendael, M., Vira, J., Vlemmix, T., and Burrows, J. P.: Comparison of tropospheric NO2 columns from MAX-DOAS retrievals and regional air quality model simulations, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-1003, in review, 2017.
Anne-Marlene Blechschmidt et al.
Anne-Marlene Blechschmidt et al.
Anne-Marlene Blechschmidt et al.

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Short summary
MAX-DOAS tropospheric NO2 column retrievals from four European measurement stations are compared to a regional model ensemble. Unlike other observational data usually applied for regional model validation, MAX-DOAS is closer to the model data in terms of horizontal and vertical resolution and several measurements are available during daylight. There generally is a good agreement between models and measurements, but large differences are found for individual pollution plumes and diurnal cycles.
MAX-DOAS tropospheric NO2 column retrievals from four European measurement stations are compared...
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