Boundary Layer CO2 mixing ratio measurements by an airborne pulsed IPDA lidar

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Anand K Ramanathan1,2, Jianping Mao1,2, James Brice Abshire1 and Graham R Allan1,3, (1)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (2)Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, COLLEGE PARK, MD, United States, (3)Sigma Space Corporation, Lanham, MD, United States
Since the primary signature of CO2 fluxes at the surface occurs in the planetary boundary layer (PBL), remote sensing measurements of CO2 that can resolve the CO2 absorption in the PBL separate from the total column are more sensitive to fluxes than those that can only measure a total column. The NASA Goddard CO2 sounder is a pulsed, range-resolved lidar that samples multiple (presently 30) wavelengths across the 1572.335 nm CO2 absorption line. The range resolution and line shape measurement enable COmixing ratio measurements to be made in two or more altitude layers including the PBL via lidar cloud-slicing and multi-layer retrievals techniques.

The pulsed lidar approach allows range-resolved backscatter of scattering from ground and cloud tops. Post flight data analysis can be used split the vertical CO2 column into layers (lidar cloud-slicing) and solve for the CO2 mixing ratio in each layer. We have demonstrated lidar cloud slicing with lidar measurements from a flight over Iowa, USA in August 2011 during the corn-growing season, remotely measuring a ≈15 ppm drawdown in the PBL CO2. We will present results using an improved lidar cloud slicing retrieval algorithm as well as preliminary measurements from the upcoming ASCENDS 2014 flight campaign.

The CO2 absorption line is also more pressure broadened at lower altitudes. Analyzing the line shape also allows solving for some vertical resolution in the CO2 distribution. By allowing the retrieval process to independently vary the column concentrations in two or more altitude layers, one can perform a best-fit retrieval to obtain the CO2 mixing ratios in each of the layers. Analysis of airborne lidar measurements (in 2011) over Iowa, USA and Four Corners, New Mexico, USA show that for altitudes above 8 km, the CO2 sounder can detect and measure enhanced or diminished CO2 mixing ratios in the PBL even in the absence of clouds. We will present these results as well as preliminary measurements from the upcoming ASCENDS 2014 flight campaign, where the CO2 sounder instrument will have a more sensitive detector. We will compare results from the two techniques and discuss the potential of such measurements from space.