Model estimations of geophysical variability between satellite measurements of ozone profiles

Sheese, Patrick E.; Walker, Kaley A.; Boone, Chris D.; Degenstein, Doug A.; Kolonjari, Felicia; Plummer, David; Kinnison, Douglas E.; Jöckel, Patrick; von Clarmann, Thomas

In order to validate satellite measurements of atmospheric composition, it is necessary to understand the range of random and systematic uncertainties inherent in the measurements. On occasions where measurements from two different satellite instruments do not agree within those estimated uncertainties, a common explanation is that the difference can be assigned to geophysical variability, i.e., differences due to sampling the atmosphere at different times and locations. However, the expected geophysical variability is often left ambiguous and rarely quantified. This paper describes a case study where the geophysical variability of Oinline-formula3 between two satellite instruments – ACE-FTS (Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment – Fourier Transform Spectrometer) and OSIRIS (Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imaging System) – is estimated using simulations from climate models. This is done by sampling the models CMAM (Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model), EMAC (ECHAM/MESSy Atmospheric Chemistry), and WACCM (Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model) throughout the upper troposphere and stratosphere at times and geolocations of coincident ACE-FTS and OSIRIS measurements. Ensemble mean values show that in the lower stratosphere, Oinline-formula3 geophysical variability tends to be independent of the chosen time coincidence criterion, up to within 12 h; and conversely, in the upper stratosphere geophysical variation tends to be independent of the chosen distance criterion, up to within 2000 km. It was also found that in the lower stratosphere, at altitudes where there is the greatest difference between air composition inside and outside the polar vortex, the geophysical variability in the southern polar region can be double of that in the northern polar region. This study shows that the ensemble mean estimates of geophysical variation can be used when comparing data from two satellite instruments to optimize the coincidence criteria, allowing for the use of more coincident profiles while providing an estimate of the geophysical variation within the comparison results.

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Sheese, Patrick E. / Walker, Kaley A. / Boone, Chris D. / et al: Model estimations of geophysical variability between satellite measurements of ozone profiles. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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