Articles | Volume 9, issue 20
28 Oct 2009
 | 28 Oct 2009

Evaluation of tropospheric ozone columns derived from assimilated GOME ozone profile observations

A. T. J. de Laat, R. J. van der A, and M. van Weele

Abstract. Tropospheric O3 column estimates are produced and evaluated from spaceborne O3 observations by the subtraction of assimilated O3 profile observations from total column observations, the so-called Tropospheric O3 ReAnalysis or TORA method. Here we apply the TORA method to six years (1996–2001) of ERS-2 GOME/TOMS total O3 and ERS-2 GOME O3 profile observations using the TM5 global chemistry-transport model with a linearized O3 photochemistry parameterization scheme.

Free running TM5 simulations show good agreement with O3 sonde observations in the upper-tropospheric and lower stratospheric region (UTLS), both for short day-to-day variability as well as for monthly means. The assimilation of GOME O3 profile observations counteracts the mid-latitude stratospheric O3 drift caused by the overstrong stratospheric meridional circulation in TM5. Assimilation of GOME O3 profile observations also improves the bias and correlations in the tropical UTLS region but slightly degrades the model-to-sonde correlations and bias of extra-tropical UTLS. We suggest that this degradation is related to the large ground pixel size of the GOME O3 measurements (960×100 km) in combination with retrieval and calibration errors. The added value of the assimilation of GOME O3 profiles compared to stand-alone model simulations lays in the long term variations of stratospheric O3, not in short term synoptic variations.

The evaluation of daily and monthly tropospheric O3 columns obtained from total column observations and using the TORA methodology shows that the use of GOME UV-VIS nadir O3 profiles in combination with the spatial resolution of the model does not result in satisfactory residual tropospheric ozone columns.

Final-revised paper