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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/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

Research article | 01 Mar 2017

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript 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 Anne-Marlene Blechschmidt et al.
  • 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.

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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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