16 Jun 2023
 | 16 Jun 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

IMK/IAA MIPAS retrievals version 8: CH4 and N2O

Norbert Glatthor, Thomas von Clarmann, Bernd Funke, Maya Garcia-Comas, Udo Grabowski, Michael Höpfner, Sylvia Kellmann, Michael Kiefer, Alexandra Laeng, Andrea Linden, Manuel Lopez-Puertas, and Gabriele P. Stiller

Abstract. Using the IMK/IAA data processor, methane and nitrous oxide distributions were retrieved from version 8 limb emission spectra recorded with the Michelson Inferferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS). The dataset includes measurements from the Nominal, UTLS-1, Middle Atmosphere, Upper Atmosphere and Noctilucent Cloud observation modes. The processing differs from the previous version 5 data with respect to the atmospheric state variables jointly retrieved with the target gases CH4 and N2O, the treatment of the radiance offset, the selection of microwindows, the regularization, the spectroscopic data used and the treatment of horizontal variability of the atmospheric state. Besides the regular data product, a coarse-grid representation of the profiles with unity averaging kernels is available, as well as a specific research product for Middle Atmosphere measurements resulting from a slightly different retrieval approach. The CH4 errors are dominated by the large spectroscopic uncertainty for line intensities, which probably is too pessimistic, and estimated to be 21–34 % in the altitude range 6–68 km for northern midlatitude summer day conditions. The N2O errors are 7–17 % below 45 km. At higher altitudes they increase strongly due to nearly vanishing N2O amounts. Analysis of the horizontal averaging kernels reveals that for both gases the horizontal resolution is sampling-limited, i.e., information is not smeared over consecutive limb scans. Zonal mean seasonal composites of both CH4 and N2O exhibit the typical distribution of source gases with strong upwelling in the tropics and subsidence above the winter poles. Comparison with the previous data version shows several improvements: First, the vertical resolution of the retrieved CH4 (N2O) profiles has generally been significantly enhanced and varies between 2.5 (2.5) and 4 (5) km at altitudes between 10 and 60 km, with the best resolution around 30 km for both species. Secondly, the number of not converged retrievals has been clearly reduced, and thirdly, formerly strongly oscillating profiles are now considerably smoother.

Norbert Glatthor et al.

Status: open (extended)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-919', Chris Boone, 05 Jul 2023 reply

Norbert Glatthor et al.

Norbert Glatthor et al.


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Short summary
We present global atmospheric methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) distributions retrieved from measurements of the MIPAS instrument onboard the ENVIronmental SATellite (ENVISAT) during 2002 to 2012. Monitoring of these gases is of scientific interest, because both of them are strong greenhouse gases. We analyse the latest, improved version of calibrated MIPAS measurements. Further, we apply a new retrieval scheme leading to an improved CH4 and N2O data product .