Articles | Volume 8, issue 20
24 Oct 2008
 | 24 Oct 2008

4D-Var assimilation of MIPAS chemical observations: ozone and nitrogen dioxide analyses

Q. Errera, F. Daerden, S. Chabrillat, J. C. Lambert, W. A. Lahoz, S. Viscardy, S. Bonjean, and D. Fonteyn

Abstract. This paper discusses the global analyses of stratospheric ozone (O3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) obtained by the Belgian Assimilation System for Chemical Observations from Envisat (BASCOE). Based on a chemistry transport model (CTM) and the 4-dimensional variational (4D-Var) method, BASCOE has assimilated chemical observations of O3, NO2, HNO3, N2O, CH4 and H2O, made between July 2002 and March 2004 by the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) onboard the European Space Agency (ESA) Environment Satellite (ENVISAT). This corresponds to the entire period during which MIPAS was operating at its nominal resolution.

Our analyses are evaluated against assimilated MIPAS data and independent HALOE (HALogen Occultation Experiment) and POAM-III (Polar Ozone and Aerosol Measurement) satellite data. A good agreement is generally found between the analyses and these datasets, in both cases within the estimated error bars of the observations. The benefit of data assimilation is also evaluated by comparing a BASCOE free model run with MIPAS observations. For O3, the gain from the assimilation is significant during ozone hole conditions, and in the lower stratosphere. Elsewhere, the assimilation does not provide significant improvement. For NO2, the gain from the assimilation is realized through most of the stratosphere. Using the BASCOE analyses, we estimate the differences between MIPAS data and independent data from HALOE and POAM-III, and find results close to those obtained by classical validation methods involving only direct measurement-to-measurement comparisons. Our results extend and reinforce previous MIPAS data validation efforts by taking into account a much larger variety of atmospheric states and measurement conditions.

This study discusses possible further developments of the BASCOE data assimilation system; these concern the horizontal resolution, a better filtering of NO2 observations, and the photolysis calculation near the lid of the model. The ozone analyses are part of the PROMOTE project and are publicly available via the BASCOE website (

Final-revised paper