Anthropogenic CO 2 monitoring satellite mission: the need for multi-angle polarimetric observations

Rusli, Stephanie P.; Hasekamp, Otto; aan de Brugh, Joost; Fu, Guangliang; Meijer, Yasjka; Landgraf, Jochen

Atmospheric aerosols have been known to be a major source of uncertainties in inline-formulaCO2 concentrations retrieved from space. In this study, we investigate the added value of multi-angle polarimeter (MAP) measurements in the context of the Copernicus Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Monitoring (CO2M) mission. To this end, we compare aerosol-induced inline-formulaXCO2 errors from standard retrievals using a spectrometer only (without MAP) with those from retrievals using both MAP and a spectrometer. MAP observations are expected to provide information about aerosols that is useful for improving inline-formulaXCO2 accuracy. For the purpose of this work, we generate synthetic measurements for different atmospheric and geophysical scenes over land, based on which inline-formulaXCO2 retrieval errors are assessed. We show that the standard inline-formulaXCO2 retrieval approach that makes no use of auxiliary aerosol observations returns inline-formulaXCO2 errors with an overall bias of 1.12 inline-formulappm and a spread (defined as half of the 15.9–84.1 percentile range) of 2.07 inline-formulappm. The latter is far higher than the required inline-formulaXCO2 accuracy (0.5 inline-formulappm) and precision (0.7 inline-formulappm) of the CO2M mission. Moreover, these inline-formulaXCO2 errors exhibit a significantly larger bias and scatter at high aerosol optical depth, high aerosol altitude, and low solar zenith angle, which could lead to worse performance in retrieving inline-formulaXCO2 from polluted areas where inline-formulaCO2 and aerosols are co-emitted. We proceed to determine MAP instrument specifications in terms of wavelength range, number of viewing angles, and measurement uncertainties that are required to achieve inline-formulaXCO2 accuracy and precision targets of the mission. Two different MAP instrument concepts are considered in this analysis. We find that for either concept, MAP measurement uncertainties on radiance and degree of linear polarization should be no more than 3 % and 0.003, respectively. A retrieval exercise using MAP and spectrometer measurements of the synthetic scenes is carried out for each of the two MAP concepts. The resulting inline-formulaXCO2 errors have an overall bias of inline-formula−0.004inline-formulappm and a spread of 0.54 inline-formulappm for one concept, and a bias of 0.02 inline-formulappm and a spread of 0.52 inline-formulappm for the other concept. Both are compliant with the CO2M mission requirements; the very low bias is especially important for proper emission estimates. For the test ensemble, we find effectively no dependence of the inline-formulaXCO2 errors on aerosol optical depth, altitude of the aerosol layer, and solar zenith angle. These results indicate a major improvement in the retrieved inline-formulaXCO2 accuracy with respect to the standard retrieval approach, which could lead to a higher data yield, better global coverage, and a more comprehensive determination of inline-formulaCO2 sinks and sources. As such, this outcome underlines the contribution of, and therefore the need for, a MAP instrument aboard the CO2M mission.

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Rusli, Stephanie P. / Hasekamp, Otto / aan de Brugh, Joost / et al: Anthropogenic CO2 monitoring satellite mission: the need for multi-angle polarimetric observations. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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