TCCON and NDACC XCO measurements: Difference, discussion and application

Zhou, M., Langerock, B., Vigouroux, C., Sha, M. K., Hermans, C., Metzger, J-M., Chen, H., Ramonet, M. K., Kivi, R., Heikkinen, P., Smale, D., Pollard, D. F., Jones, N., Velazco, V. A., García, O. E., Schneider, M., Palm, M., Warneke, T. & De Mazière, M., 18-Nov-2019, In : Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. 12, 11, p. 5979-5995 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • Minqiang Zhou
  • Bavo Langerock
  • Corinne Vigouroux
  • M. K. Sha
  • Christian Hermans
  • Jean-Marc Metzger
  • Huilin Chen
  • Mahesh Kumar Ramonet
  • Rigel Kivi
  • Pauli Heikkinen
  • Dan Smale
  • David F. Pollard
  • Nicholas Jones
  • Voltaire A. Velazco
  • Omaira E. García
  • Matthias Schneider
  • Mathias Palm
  • Thorsten Warneke
  • Martine De Mazière
Column-averaged dry-air mole fraction of CO (XCO) measurements are obtained from two ground-based Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer networks: the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) and the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC). In this study, the differences between the TCCON and NDACC XCO measurements are investigated and discussed based on six NDACC–TCCON sites using data over the period 2007–2017. A direct comparison shows that the NDACC XCO measurements are about 5.5 % larger than the TCCON data at Ny-Ålesund, Bremen, and Izaña (Northern Hemisphere), and the absolute bias between the NDACC and TCCON data is within 2 % at Saint-Denis, Wollongong and Lauder (Southern Hemisphere). The hemispheric dependence of the bias is mainly attributed to their smoothing errors. The systematic smoothing error of the TCCON XCO data varies in the range between 0.2 % (Bremen) and 7.9 % (Lauder), and the random smoothing error varies in the range between 2.0 % and 3.6 %. The systematic smoothing error of NDACC data is between 0.1 % and 0.8 %, and the random smoothing error of NDACC data is about 0.3 %. For TCCON data, the smoothing error is significant because it is higher than the reported uncertainty, particularly at Southern Hemisphere sites. To reduce the influence from the a priori profiles and different vertical sensitivities, the scaled NDACC a priori profiles are used as the common a priori profiles for comparing TCCON and NDACC retrievals. As a result, the biases between TCCON and NDACC XCO measurements become more consistent (5.6 %–8.5 %) with a mean value of 6.8 % at these sites. To determine the sources of the remaining bias, regular AirCore measurements at Orléans and Sodankylä are compared to co-located TCCON measurements. It is found that TCCON XCO measurements are 6.1 ± 1.6 % and 8.0 ± 3.2 % smaller than the AirCore measurements at Orléans and Sodankylä, respectively, indicating that the scaling factor of TCCON XCO data should be around 1.0000 instead of 1.0672. Further investigations should be carried out in the TCCON community to determine the correct scaling factor to be applied to the TCCON XCO data. This paper also demonstrates that the smoothing error must be taken into account when comparing FTIR XCO data, and especially TCCON XCO data, with model or satellite data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5979-5995
Number of pages17
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 18-Nov-2019



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