CO measurements from the ACE-FTS satellite instrument: data analysis and validation using ground-based, airborne and spaceborne observations
Journal article, 2008
The Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) mission was launched in August 2003 to sound the atmosphere by solar occultation. Carbon monoxide (CO), a good tracer of pollution plumes and atmospheric dynamics, is one of the key species provided by the primary instrument, the ACE-Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS). This instrument performs measurements in both the CO 1-0 and 2-0 ro-vibrational bands, from which vertically resolved CO concentration profiles are retrieved, from the mid-troposphere to the thermosphere. This paper presents an updated description of the ACE-FTS version 2.2 CO data product, along with a comprehensive validation of these profiles using available observations (February 2004 to December 2006). We have compared the CO partial columns with ground-based measurements using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and millimeter wave radiometry, and the volume mixing ratio profiles with airborne (both high-altitude balloon flight and airplane) observations. CO satellite observations provided by nadir-looking instruments (MOPITT and TES) as well as limb-viewing remote sensors (MIPAS, SMR and MLS) were also compared with the ACE-FTS CO products. We show that the ACE-FTS measurements provide CO profiles with small retrieval errors (better than 5% from the upper troposphere to 40 km, and better than 10% above). These observations agree well with the correlative measurements, considering the rather loose coincidence criteria in some cases. Based on the validation exercise we assess the following uncertainties to the ACE-FTS measurement data: better than 15% in the upper troposphere (8–12 km), than 30% in the lower stratosphere (12–30 km), and than 25% from 30 to 100 km.