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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: technical note 26 Jun 2019

Submitted as: technical note | 26 Jun 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Technical note: Reanalysis of Aura MLS Chemical Observations

Quentin Errera1, Simon Chabrillat1, Yves Christophe1, Jonas Debosscher1, Daan Hubert1, William Lahoz2,†, Michelle L. Santee3, Masato Shiotani4, Sergey Skachko5, Thomas von Clarmann6, and Kaley Walker7 Quentin Errera et al.
  • 1Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB), Brussels, Belgium
  • 2Norsk Institutt for Luftforskning, NILU, Norway
  • 3Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, USA
  • 4Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto University, Japan
  • 5Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Dorval, Quebec, Canada
  • 6Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Germany
  • 7Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Canada
  • deceased, 1 April 2019

Abstract. This paper presents a reanalysis of the atmospheric chemical composition from the upper troposphere to the lower mesosphere from August 2004 to December 2017. This reanalysis is produced by the Belgian Assimilation System for Chemical ObsErvations (BASCOE) constrained by the chemical observations from the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) onboard the Aura satellite. BASCOE is based on the Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) method and includes a chemical transport model driven by the winds and temperature from the ERA-Interim meteorological reanalysis. The model resolution is 3.75° in longitude, 2.5° in latitude and 37 vertical levels from the surface to 0.1 hPa with 25 levels above 100 hPa. The outputs are provided every 6 hours. This reanalysis is called BRAM2 for BASCOE Reanalysis of Aura MLS, version 2.

Vertical profiles of eight species from MLS version 4 are assimilated and are evaluated in this paper: ozone (O3), water vapour (H2O), nitrous oxide (N2O), nitric acid (HNO3), hydrogen chloride (HCl), chlorine oxide (ClO), methyl chloride (CH3Cl) and carbon monoxide (CO). They are evaluated using independent observations from the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACEFTS), the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS), the Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES), N2O observations from another MLS radiometer than the one used to deliver the standard product and ozonesondes. The evaluation is done in four regions of interest where only selected species are evaluated. These regions are (1) the lower stratospheric polar vortex where O3, H2O, N2O, HNO3, HCl and ClO are evaluated, (2) the upper stratospheric lower mesospheric polar vortex where H2O, N2O, HNO3 and CO are evaluated, (3) the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) where O3, H2O, CO and CH3Cl are evaluated and (4) the middle stratosphere where O3, H2O, N2O, HNO3, HCl, ClO and CH3Cl are evaluated.

In general BRAM2 reproduces MLS observations within their uncertainties and agrees well with independent observations, with several limitations discussed in this paper (see the summary in Sect. 5.5). In particular, ozone is not assimilated at altitudes above (i.e. pressures lower than) 4 hPa due to a model bias that cannot be corrected by the assimilation. MLS ozone profiles display unphysical oscillations in the TTL which are corrected by the assimilation, allowing a good agreement with ozonesondes. Moreover, in the upper troposphere, comparison of BRAM2 with MLS and independent observations suggests a positive bias in MLS O3 and a negative bias in MLS H2O. The reanalysis also reveals a drift in MLS N2O against independent observations which highlights the potential use of BRAM2 to estimate biases between instruments. BRAM2 is publicly available and will be extended to assimilate MLS observations post 2017.

Quentin Errera et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Quentin Errera et al.
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
BRAM2 is a 13-year reanalysis of the chemical composition from the upper troposphere to the lower mesosphere based on the assimilation of the Microwave Limb Sounder observations where 8 species are assimilated: O3, H2O, N2O, HNO3, HCl, ClO, CH3Cl and CO. BRAM2 agrees generally well with independent observations in the middle stratosphere, the polar vortex and the tropical tropopause layer but also shows several issues in the model and in the observations.
BRAM2 is a 13-year reanalysis of the chemical composition from the upper troposphere to the...