Articles | Volume 12, issue 12
Research article
29 Jun 2012
Research article |  | 29 Jun 2012

A multi-sensor upper tropospheric ozone product (MUTOP) based on TES ozone and GOES water vapor: validation with ozonesondes

J. L. Moody, S. R. Felker, A. J. Wimmers, G. Osterman, K. Bowman, A. M. Thompson, and D. W. Tarasick

Abstract. Accurate representation of ozone in the extratropical upper troposphere (UT) remains a challenge. However, the implementation of hyper-spectral remote sensing using satellite instruments such as the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) provides an avenue for mapping ozone in this region, from 500 to 300 hPa. As a polar orbiting satellite TES observations are limited, but in this paper they are combined with geostationary satellite observations of water vapor. This paper describes a validation of the Multi-sensor UT Ozone Product (MUTOP). MUTOP, based on a statistical retrieval method, is an image product derived from the multiple regression of remotely sensed TES ozone, against geostationary (GOES) specific humidity (remotely sensed) and potential vorticity (a modeled dynamical tracer in the UT). These TES-derived UT ozone mixing ratios are compared to coincident ozonesonde measurements of layer-average UT ozone mixing ratios made during the NASA INTEX/B field campaign in the spring of 2006; the region for this study is effectively the GOES west domain covering the eastern North Pacific Ocean and the western United States. This intercomparison evaluates MUTOP skill at representing ozone magnitude and variability in this region of complex dynamics. In total, 11 ozonesonde launch sites were available for this study, providing 127 individual sondes for comparison; the overall mean ozone of the 500–300 hPa layer for these sondes was 78.0 ppbv. MUTOP reproduces in~situ measurements reasonably well, producing an UT mean of 82.3 ppbv, with a mean absolute error of 12.2 ppbv and a root mean square error of 16.4 ppbv relative to ozonesondes across all sites. An overall UT mean bias of 4.3 ppbv relative to sondes was determined for MUTOP. Considered in the context of past TES validation studies, these results illustrate that MUTOP is able to maintain accuracy similar to TES while expanding coverage to the entire GOES-West satellite domain. In addition MUTOP provides six-hour temporal resolution throughout the INTEX-B study period, making the visualization of UT ozone dynamics possible. This paper presents the overall statistical validation as well as a selection of ozonesonde case studies. The case studies illustrate that error may not always represent a lack of TES-derived product skill, but often results from discrepancies driven by observations made in the presence of strong meteorological gradients.

Final-revised paper