Articles | Volume 8, issue 12
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 3081–3092, 2008
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 3081–3092, 2008

  20 Jun 2008

20 Jun 2008

Impact of nonlinearity on changing the a priori of trace gas profile estimates from the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES)

S. S. Kulawik1, K. W. Bowman1, M. Luo1, C. D. Rodgers2, and L. Jourdain1 S. S. Kulawik et al.
  • 1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 2University Oxford, Clarendon Lab, Oxford OX1 3PU, UK

Abstract. Non-linear maximum a posteriori (MAP) estimates of atmospheric profiles from the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) contains a priori information that may vary geographically, which is a confounding factor in the analysis and physical interpretation of an ensemble of profiles. One mitigation strategy is to transform profile estimates to a common prior using a linear operation thereby facilitating the interpretation of profile variability. However, this operation is dependent on the assumption of not worse than moderate non-linearity near the solution of the non-linear estimate. The robustness of this assumption is tested by comparing atmospheric retrievals from the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer processed with a uniform prior with those processed with a variable prior and converted to a uniform prior following the non-linear retrieval. Linearly converting the prior following a non-linear retrieval is shown to have a minor effect on the results as compared to a non-linear retrieval using a uniform prior when compared to the expected total error, with less than 10% of the change in the prior ending up as unbiased fluctuations in the profile estimate results.

Final-revised paper