Articles | Volume 10, issue 8
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 3479–3494, 2010
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 3479–3494, 2010

  16 Apr 2010

16 Apr 2010

Analysis of global and regional CO burdens measured from space between 2000 and 2009 and validated by ground-based solar tracking spectrometers

L. Yurganov1, W. McMillan1, E. Grechko2, and A. Dzhola2 L. Yurganov et al.
  • 1Joint Center for Earth System Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • 2Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Moscow, Russia

Abstract. Interannual variations in AIRS and MOPITT retrieved CO burdens are validated, corrected, and compared with CO emissions from wild fires from the Global Fire Emission Dataset (GFED2) inventory. Validation of daily mean CO total column (TC) retrievals from MOPITT version 3 and AIRS version 5 is performed through comparisons with archived TC data from the Network for Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC) ground-based Fourier Transform Spectrometers (FTS) between March 2000 and December 2007. MOPITT V3 retrievals exhibit an increasing temporal bias with a rate of 1.4–1.8% per year; thus far, AIRS retrievals appear to be more stable. For the lowest CO values in the Southern Hemisphere (SH), AIRS TC retrievals overestimate FTS TC by 20%. MOPITT's bias and standard deviation do not depend on CO TC absolute values. Empirical corrections are derived for AIRS and MOPITT retrievals based on the observed annually averaged bias versus the FTS TC. Recently published MOPITT V4 is found to be in a good agreement with MOPITT V3 corrected by us (with exception of 2000–2001 period). With these corrections, CO burdens from AIRS V5 and MOPITT V3 (as well as MOPITT V4) come into good agreement in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere (NH) and in the tropical belt. In the SH, agreement between AIRS and MOPITT CO burdens is better for the larger CO TC in austral winter and worse in austral summer when CO TC are smaller. Before July 2008, all variations in retrieved CO burden can be explained by changes in fire emissions. After July 2008, global and tropical CO burdens decreased until October before recovering by the beginning of 2009. The NH CO burden also decreased but reached a minimum in January 2009 before starting to recover. The decrease in tropical CO burdens is explained by lower than usual fire emissions in South America and Indonesia. This decrease in tropical emissions also accounts for most of the change in the global CO burden. However, no such diminution of NH biomass burning is indicated by GFED2. Thus, the CO burden decrease in the NH could result from a combination of lower fossil fuel emissions during the global economic recession and transport of CO-poor air from the tropics. More extensive modeling will be required to fully resolve this issue.

Final-revised paper