First Global Observations of HCHO from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite
Monday, 15 December 2014
Global retrievals of formaldehyde (HCHO) from satellite UV instruments such as the Aura/Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and MetOp/Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2 (GOME-2) have provided important constraints on the emissions of biogenic isoprene. Here we present the first results of HCHO retrievals from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS). We apply an innovative principal component analysis (PCA) retrieval algorithm to extract a set of principal components (PCs) from OMPS-measured radiances between 325.0 and 356.5 nm over presumably clean oceanic regions. Since the background loading of HCHO due to methane oxidation is very small over these areas, the leading PCs (that explain the most variation in radiances) represent spectral features associated with various physical processes (e.g., ozone absorption, rotational Raman scattering) and measurement details (e.g., wavelength shift) other than those related to HCHO absorption. The vertical column density of HCHO is then derived by fitting the PCs and HCHO Jacobians calculated with a radiative transfer model to OMPS-measured radiance spectra. Our retrievals highlight the diverse nature of HCHO sources. Summertime maxima in HCHO detected over the eastern U.S. are likely due to biogenic emissions, while seasonal hot spots observed over West and Central Africa and Russia are mainly attributed to biomass burning emissions. Efforts have also been made to distinguish between anthropogenic and biogenic precursors of HCHO. Finally, the OMPS PCA HCHO retrievals are compared to OMI HCHO data produced with different Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) algorithms, in an effort to understand and reconcile the differences between various satellite HCHO datasets.