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Journal ArticleDOI

Optimal estimation of tropospheric H 2 O and δD with IASI/METOP

10 Nov 2011-Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Copernicus GmbH)-Vol. 11, Iss: 21, pp 11207-11220

AbstractWe present optimal estimates of tropospheric H2O and D derived from radiances measured by the instrument IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer) flown on EUMETSAT's polar orbiter METOP. We document that the IASI spectra allow for retrieving H2O profiles between the surface and the upper troposphere as well as middle tro- pospheric D values. A theoretical error estimation suggests a precision for H2O of better than 35 % in the lower tro- posphere and of better than 15 % in the middle and upper troposphere, respectively, whereby surface emissivity and atmospheric temperature uncertainties are the leading error sources. For the middle tropospheric D values we estimate a precision of 15-20 ‰ with the measurement noise being the dominating error source. The accuracy of the IASI products is estimated to about 20-10 % and 10 ‰ for lower to upper tropospheric H2O and middle tropospheric D, respectively. It is limited by systematic uncertainties in the applied spec- troscopic parameters and the a priori atmospheric tempera- ture profiles. We compare our IASI products to a large num- ber of near coincident radiosonde in-situ and ground-based FTS (Fourier Transform Spectrometer) remote sensing mea- surements. The bias and the scatter between the different H2O and D data sets are consistent with the combined theo- retical uncertainties of the involved measurement techniques.

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Improved measurement and modeling of water vapor isotopic composition opens the door to new advances in the understanding of the atmospheric water cycle, in processes ranging from the marine boundary layer, through deep convection and tropospheric mixing, and into the water cycle of the stratosphere.
Abstract: The measurement and simulation of water vapor isotopic composition has matured rapidly over the last decade, with long-term datasets and comprehensive modeling capabilities now available. Theories for water vapor isotopic composition have been developed by extending the theories that have been used for the isotopic composition of precipitation to include a more nuanced understanding of evaporation, large-scale mixing, deep convection, and kinetic fractionation. The technologies for in-situ and remote sensing measurements of water vapor isotopic composition have developed especially rapidly over the last decade, with discrete water vapor sampling methods, based on mass spectroscopy, giving way to laser spectroscopic methods and satellite- and ground-based infrared absorption techniques. The simulation of water vapor isotopic composition has evolved from General Circulation Model (GCM) methods for simulating precipitation isotopic composition to sophisticated isotope-enabled microphysics schemes using higher-order moments for water- and ice-size distributions. The incorporation of isotopes into GCMs has enabled more detailed diagnostics of the water cycle and has led to improvements in its simulation. The combination of improved measurement and modeling of water vapor isotopic composition opens the door to new advances in our understanding of the atmospheric water cycle, in processes ranging from the marine boundary layer, through deep convection and tropospheric mixing, and into the water cycle of the stratosphere. Finally, studies of the processes governing modern water vapor isotopic composition provide an improved framework for the interpretation of paleoclimate proxy records of the hydrological cycle.

175 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This paper lays down the theoretical bases and the methods used in the Fast Optimal Retrievals on Layers for IASI (FORLI) software, which is developed and maintained at the "Universite Libre de Bruxelles" (ULB) with the support of the "Laboratoire Atmospheres, Milieux, Observations Spatiales" (LATMOS) to process radiance spectra from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) in the perspective of local to global chemistry applications. The forward radiative transfer model (RTM) and the retrieval approaches are formulated and numerical approximations are described. The aim of FORLI is near-real-time provision of global scale concentrations of trace gases from IASI, either integrated over the altitude range of the atmosphere (total columns) or vertically resolved. To this end, FORLI uses precalculated table of absorbances. At the time of writing three gas-specific versions of this algorithm have been set up: FORLI-CO, FORLI-O3 and FORLI-HNO3. The performances of each are reviewed and illustrations of results and early validations are provided, making the link to recent scientific publications. In this paper we stress the challenges raised by near-real-time processing of IASI, shortly describe the processing chain set up at ULB and draw perspectives for future developments and applications.

144 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: . Thermal infrared (IR) radiances measured near 8 microns contain information about the vertical distribution of water vapor (H2O), the water isotopologue HDO, and methane (CH4), key gases in the water and carbon cycles. Previous versions (Version 4 or less) of the TES profile retrieval algorithm used a "spectral-window" approach to minimize uncertainty from interfering species at the expense of reduced vertical resolution and sensitivity. In this manuscript we document changes to the vertical resolution and uncertainties of the TES version 5 retrieval algorithm. In this version (Version 5), joint estimates of H2O, HDO, CH4 and nitrous oxide (N2O) are made using radiances from almost the entire spectral region between 1100 cm−1 and 1330 cm−1. The TES retrieval constraints are also modified in order to better use this information. The new H2O estimates show improved vertical resolution in the lower troposphere and boundary layer, while the new HDO/H2O estimates can now profile the HDO/H2O ratio between 925 hPa and 450 hPa in the tropics and during summertime at high latitudes. The new retrievals are now sensitive to methane in the free troposphere between 800 and 150 mb with peak sensitivity near 500 hPa; whereas in previous versions the sensitivity peaked at 200 hPa. However, the upper troposphere methane concentrations are biased high relative to the lower troposphere by approximately 4% on average. This bias is likely related to temperature, calibration, and/or methane spectroscopy errors. This bias can be mitigated by normalizing the CH4 estimate by the ratio of the N2O estimate relative to the N2O prior, under the assumption that the same systematic error affects both the N2O and CH4 estimates. We demonstrate that applying this ratio theoretically reduces the CH4 estimate for non-retrieved parameters that jointly affect both the N2O and CH4 estimates. The relative upper troposphere to lower troposphere bias is approximately 2.8% after this bias correction. Quality flags based upon the vertical variability of the methane and N2O estimates can be used to reduce this bias further. While these new CH4, HDO/H2O, and H2O estimates are consistent with previous TES retrievals in the altitude regions where the sensitivities overlap, future comparisons with independent profile measurement will be required to characterize the biases of these new retrievals and determine if the calculated uncertainties using the new constraints are consistent with actual uncertainties.

125 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: [1] Climate models suggest an important role for land-atmosphere feedbacks on climate, but exhibit a large dispersion in the simulation of this role. We focus here on the role of continental recycling in the intraseasonal variability of continental moisture, and we explore the possibility of using water isotopic measurements to observationally constrain this role. Based on water tagging, we design a diagnostic, named D1, to estimate the role of continental recycling on the intraseasonal variability of continental moisture simulated by the general circulation model LMDZ. In coastal regions, the intraseasonal variability of continental moisture is mainly driven by the variability in oceanic moisture convergence. More inland, the role of continental recycling becomes important. The simulation of this role is sensitive to model parameters modulating evapotranspiration. Then we show that δD in the low-level water vapor is a good tracer for continental recycling, due to the enriched signature of transpiration. Over tropical land regions, the intraseasonal relationship between δD and precipitable water, named D1_iso, is a good observational proxy for D1. We test the possibility of using D1_iso for model evaluation using two satellite data sets: GOSAT and TES. LMDZ captures well the spatial patterns of D1_iso, but underestimates its values. However, a more accurate description of how atmospheric processes affect the isotopic composition of water vapor is necessary before concluding with certitude that LMDZ underestimates the role of continental recycling.

88 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Deuterium-excess (d) in water is a combination of the oxygen (delta O-18) and hydrogen (delta D) isotope ratios, and its variability is thought to indicate the location and environmental conditions of the marine moisture source. In this study, we analyze d of water vapor (d(v)) from six sites, all between 37 and 44 degrees N to examine patterns in the atmospheric surface layer and identify the main drivers of variability. Two sites are in urban settings (New Haven, CT, USA and Beijing, China), two sites are in agricultural settings (Rosemount, MN, USA and Luancheng, China), and two sites are in natural ecosystems, a forest (Borden Forest, Ontario, Canada) and a grassland (Duolun, China). We found a robust diurnal cycle in d(v) at all sites with maximum values during mid-day. Isotopic land surface model simulations suggest that plant transpiration is one mechanism underlying the diurnal pattern. An isotopic large-eddy simulation model shows that entrainment of the free atmosphere into the boundary layer can also produce high d(v) values in mid-day. Daily mid-day means of d(v) were negatively correlated with local mid-day relative humidity and positively correlated with planetary boundary layer height at the North American sites, but not the Chinese sites. The mechanism for these differences is still undetermined. These results demonstrate that within the diurnal time scale, d(v) of the surface air at continental locations can be significantly altered by local processes, and is therefore not a conserved tracer of humidity from the marine moisture source region as has previously been assumed.

67 citations


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586 citations


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