Retrieval of atmospheric CO 2 vertical profiles from ground-based near-infrared spectra

Roche, Sébastien; Strong, Kimberly; Wunch, Debra; Mendonca, Joseph; Sweeney, Colm; Baier, Bianca; Biraud, Sébastien C.; Laughner, Joshua L.; Toon, Geoffrey C.; Connor, Brian J.

We evaluate vertical profile retrievals of COinline-formula2 from 0.02 cminline-formula−1 resolution ground-based near-infrared solar absorption spectra with the GFIT2 algorithm, using improved spectroscopic line lists and line shapes. With these improvements, COinline-formula2 profiles were obtained from sequential retrievals in five spectral windows with different vertical sensitivities using synthetic and real spectra. A sensitivity study using synthetic spectra shows that the leading source of uncertainty in the retrieved COinline-formula2 profiles is the error in the a priori temperature profile, even with 3-hourly reanalysis a priori profiles. A 2 inline-formulaC error in the temperature profile in the lower troposphere between 0.6 and 0.85 atm causes deviations in the retrieved COinline-formula2 profiles that are larger than the typical vertical variations of COinline-formula2. To distinguish the effect of errors in the a priori meteorology and trace gas concentration profiles from those in the instrument alignment and spectroscopic parameters, we retrieve COinline-formula2 profiles from atmospheric spectra while using an a priori profile built from coincident AirCore, radiosonde, and surface in situ measurements at the Lamont, Oklahoma (USA), Total Carbon Column Observing Network station. In those cases, the deviations in retrieved COinline-formula2 profiles are also larger than typical vertical variations of COinline-formula2, suggesting that remaining errors in the forward model limit the accuracy of the retrieved profiles. Implementing a temperature retrieval or correction and quantifying and modeling an imperfect instrument alignment are critical to improve COinline-formula2 profile retrievals. Without significant advances in modeling imperfect instrument alignment, and improvements in the accuracy of the temperature profile, the COinline-formula2 profile retrieval with GFIT2 presents no clear advantage over scaling retrievals for the purpose of ascertaining the total column.

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Roche, Sébastien / Strong, Kimberly / Wunch, Debra / et al: Retrieval of atmospheric CO2 vertical profiles from ground-based near-infrared spectra. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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