An improved TROPOMI tropospheric HCHO retrieval over China

Su, Wenjing; Liu, Cheng; Chan, Ka Lok; Hu, Qihou; Liu, Haoran; Ji, Xiangguang; Zhu, Yizhi; Liu, Ting; Zhang, Chengxin; Chen, Yujia; Liu, Jianguo

We present an improved TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) retrieval of formaldehyde (HCHO) over China. The new retrieval optimizes the slant column density (SCD) retrieval and air mass factor (AMF) calculation for TROPOMI observations of HCHO over China. Retrieval of HCHO differential SCDs (DSCDs) is improved using the basic optical differential spectroscopy (BOAS) technique resulting in lower noise and smaller random error, while AMFs are improved with a priori HCHO profiles from a higher resolution regional chemistry transport model. Compared to the operational product, the new TROPOMI HCHO retrieval shows better agreement with ground-based Multi-AXis Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) measurements in Beijing. The improvements are mainly related to the AMF calculation with more precise a priori profiles in winter. Using more precise a priori profiles in general reduces HCHO vertical column densities (VCDs) by 52.37 % (inline-formula± 27.09 %) in winter. Considering the aerosol effect in AMF calculation reduces the operational product by 11.46 % (inline-formula± 1.48 %) and our retrieval by 17.61 % (inline-formula± 1.92 %) in winter. The improved and operational HCHO are also used to investigate the spatial–temporal characteristics of HCHO over China. The result shows that both improved and operational HCHO VCDs reach maximum in summer and minimum in winter. High HCHO VCDs mainly located over populated areas, i.e., Sichuan Basin and central and eastern China, indicate a significant contribution of anthropogenic emissions. The hotspots are more obvious on the map of the improved HCHO retrieval than the operational product. The result indicates that the improved TROPOMI HCHO retrieval is more suitable for the analysis of regional- and city-scale pollution in China.

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Su, Wenjing / Liu, Cheng / Chan, Ka Lok / et al: An improved TROPOMI tropospheric HCHO retrieval over China. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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