Methane profiles from GOSAT thermal infrared spectra

de Lange, Arno; Landgraf, Jochen

This paper discusses the retrieval of atmospheric methane profiles from the thermal infrared band of the Japanese Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) between inline-formula1210 and inline-formula1310inline-formulacm−1, using the RemoTeC analysis software. Approximately one degree of information on the vertical methane distribution is inferred from the measurements, with the main sensitivity at about inline-formula9inline-formulakm altitude but little sensitivity to methane in the lower troposphere. For verification, we compare the GOSAT-TIR methane profile retrieval results with profiles from model fields provided by the Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate (MACC) project, scaled to the total column measurements of the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) at ground-based measurement sites. Without any radiometric corrections of GOSAT observations, differences between both data sets can be as large as 10 %. To mitigate these differences, we developed a correction scheme using a principal component analysis of spectral fit residuals and airborne observations of methane during the HIAPER pole-to-pole observations (HIPPO) campaign II and III. When the correction scheme is applied, the bias in the methane profile can be reduced to less than 2 % over the whole altitude range with respect to MACC model methane fields. Furthermore, we show that, with this correction, the retrievals result in smooth methane fields over land and ocean crossings and no differences can be discerned between daytime and nighttime measurements. Finally, a cloud filter is developed for the nighttime and ocean measurements. This filter is rooted in the GOSAT-TIR (thermal infrared) measurements and its performance, in terms of biases, is consistent with the cloud filter based on the GOSAT-SWIR (shortwave infrared) measurements. The TIR filter shows a higher acceptance rate of observations than the SWIR filter, at the cost of a higher uncertainty in the retrieved methane profiles.



de Lange, Arno / Landgraf, Jochen: Methane profiles from GOSAT thermal infrared spectra. 2018. Copernicus Publications.


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