A comparison of minor trace gas retrievals from the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) and the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI)
Abstract:The advent of hyperspectral infrared instruments orbiting the Earth has allowed for detecting and measuring numerous trace gas species that play important roles in atmospheric chemistry and impact air quality, but for which there is a dearth of information on their distribution and temporal variability. Here we will present global and regional comparisons of measurements from the NASA TES and the European MetOp IASI instruments of three of these gases: ammonia (NH3), formic acid (HCOOH) and methanol (CH3OH). Ammonia is highly reactive and thus very variable in space and time, while the sources and sinks of methanol and formic acid are poorly quantified: thus space-based measurements have the potential of significantly increasing our knowledge of the emissions and distributions of these gases.
IASI and TES have many similarities but some significant differences. TES has significantly higher spectral resolution (0.06 cm-1), and its equator crossing times are ~1:30 am and 1:30 pm, local time, while IASI has lower resolution (0.5 cm-1) and an earlier equator crossing time (9:30 am and 9:30 pm), which leads to lower thermal contrast; however IASI provides much greater temporal and spatial coverage due to its cross-track scanning. Added to the instrumental differences are the differences in retrieval algorithms. The IASI team uses simple but efficient methods to estimate total column amounts of the species above, while the TES team performs full optimal estimation retrievals.
We will compare IASI and TES total column measurements averaged on a 2.5x2.5 degree global grid for each month in 2009, and we will examine the seasonal cycle in some regions of interest, such as South America, eastern China, and the Midwest and the Central Valley in the US. In regions where both datasets are in agreement this analysis will provide confidence that the results are robust and reliable. In regions where there is disagreement we will look for the causes of the discrepancies, which will lead to better algorithms, most immediately for the NPP CrIS instrument, which combines the coverage of IASI with the equator crossing time of TES.