Publication Details

Reuter, M., Buchwitz, M., Schneising, O., Noel, S., Bovensmann, H., Burrows, J., Boesch, H., Di Noia, A., Anand, J., Parker, R. J., Somkuti, P., Wu, L., Hasekamp, O. P., Aben, I., Kuza, A., Suto, H., Shiomi, K., Yoshida, Y., Morino, I., Crisp, D., O'Dell, C. W., Notholt, J., Petri, C., Warneke, T., Velazco, V. A., Deutscher, N. M., Griffith, D. W. T., Kivi, R., Pollard, D., Hase, F., Sussmann, R., Te, Y. V., Strong, K., Roche, S., Sha, M. K., De Maziere, M., Feist, D., Iraci, L., Roehl, C. M., Retscher, C. & Schepers, D. (2020). Ensemble-based satellite-derived carbon dioxide and methane column-averaged dry-air mole fraction data sets (2003-2018) for carbon and climate applications. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 13 (2), 789-819.


Satellite retrievals of column-averaged dry-air mole fractions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), denoted XCO2 and XCH4, respectively, have been used in recent years to obtain information on natural and anthropogenic sources and sinks and for other applications such as comparisons with climate models. Here we present new data sets based on merging several individual satellite data products in order to generate consistent long-term climate data records (CDRs) of these two Essential Climate Variables (ECVs). These ECV CDRs, which cover the time period 2003-2018, have been generated using an ensemble of data products from the satellite sensors SCIAMACHY/ENVISAT and TANSO-FTS/GOSAT and (for XCO2) for the first time also including data from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) satellite. Two types of products have been generated: (i) Level 2 (L2) products generated with the latest version of the ensemble median algorithm (EMMA) and (ii) Level 3 (L3) products obtained by gridding the corresponding L2 EMMA products to obtain a monthly 5∘x5∘ data product in Obs4MIPs (Observations for Model Intercomparisons Project) format. The L2 products consist of daily NetCDF (Network Common Data Form) files, which contain in addition to the main parameters, i.e., XCO2 or XCH4, corresponding uncertainty estimates for random and potential systematic uncertainties and the averaging kernel for each single (quality-filtered) satellite observation. We describe the algorithms used to generate these data products and present quality assessment results based on comparisons with Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) ground-based retrievals. We found that the XCO2 Level 2 data set at the TCCON validation sites can be characterized by the following figures of merit (the corresponding values for the Level 3 product are listed in brackets) - single-observation random error (1σ): 1.29 ppm (monthly: 1.18 ppm); global bias: 0.20 ppm (0.18 ppm); and spatiotemporal bias or relative accuracy (1σ): 0.66 ppm (0.70 ppm). The corresponding values for the XCH4 products are single-observation random error (1σ): 17.4 ppb (monthly: 8.7 ppb); global bias: −2.0 ppb (−2.9 ppb); and spatiotemporal bias (1σ): 5.0 ppb (4.9 ppb). It has also been found that the data products exhibit very good long-term stability as no significant long-term bias trend has been identified. The new data sets have also been used to derive annual XCO2 and XCH4 growth rates, which are in reasonable to good agreement with growth rates from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) based on marine surface observations. The presented ECV data sets are available (from early 2020 onwards) via the Climate Data Store (CDS, https://cds.climate.copernicus.eu/, last access: 10 January 2020) of the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S, https://climate.copernicus.eu/, last access: 10 January 2020).



Link to publisher version (DOI)