A new stratospheric and tropospheric NO 2 retrieval algorithm for nadir-viewing satellite instruments: applications to OMI
We describe a new algorithm for the retrieval of nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) vertical columns from nadir-viewing satellite instruments. This algorithm (SP2) is the basis for the Version 2.1 OMI This algorithm (SP2) is the basis for the Version 2.1 Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) NO 2 Standard Product and features a novel method for separating the stratospheric and tropospheric columns. NO 2 Standard Product and features a novel method for separating the stratospheric and tropospheric columns. The approach estimates the stratospheric NO 2 directly from satellite data without using stratospheric chemical transport models or assuming any global zonal wave pattern. Tropospheric NO 2 columns are retrieved using air mass factors derived from high-resolution radiative transfer calculations and a monthly climatology of NO 2 profile shapes. We also present details of how uncertainties in the retrieved columns are estimated. The sensitivity of the retrieval to assumptions made in the stratosphere–troposphere separation is discussed and shown to be small, in an absolute sense, for most regions. We compare daily and monthly mean global OMI NO 2 retrievals using the SP2 algorithm with those of the original Version 1 Standard Product (SP1) and the Dutch DOMINO product. The SP2 retrievals yield significantly smaller summertime tropospheric columns than SP1, particularly in polluted regions, and are more consistent with validation studies. SP2 retrievals are also relatively free of modeling artifacts and negative tropospheric NO 2 values. In a reanalysis of an INTEX-B validation study, we show that SP2 largely eliminates an ~20% discrepancy that existed between OMI and independent in situ springtime NO 2 SP1 measurements.