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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17305

Title: Assessment of Trace Gas Observations from the Toronto Atmospheric Observatory
Authors: Taylor, Jeffrey Ryan
Advisor: Strong, Kimberly
Department: Physics
Keywords: Fourier Transform Spectroscopy
Infrared Spectroscopy
Remote Sensing
Atmospheric Trace Gases
Satellite Validation
Inverse Theory
Issue Date: 26-Feb-2009
Abstract: A high-resolution infrared Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) has been operational at the Toronto Atmospheric Observatory (TAO)since May 2002. An optimal estimation retrieval technique is used to analyse the observed spectra and provide regular total and partial column measurements of trace gases in the troposphere and stratosphere as part of the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change. The quality of these results were assessed through two ground-based validation campaigns, comparisons with three satellite instruments, and comparison with a three-dimensional chemical transport model. The two ground-based campaigns involved two lower-resolution FTS instruments: the University of Toronto FTS and the Portable Atmospheric Research Interferometric Spectrometer for the Infrared. The first campaign took place over the course of four months and is the longest side-by-side intercomparison of ground-based FTS instruments, to date. The second campaign was more focused and involved all three instruments measuring over a two-week period. Simultaneous measurements of O3, HCl, N2O, and CH4 were recorded and average total column differences were all < 3.7% in the extended campaign, and < 4.5% in the focused campaign. Satellite-based comparisons were done with the SCanning and Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY (SCIAMACHY), the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS), and the Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager System (OSIRIS). Total column CO, CH4, and N2O compared with SCIAMACHY all had average differences < 10% with results from the TAO-FTS being as good as, or better, than that of other instruments. Validation with the ACE-FTS showed that average partial columns of O3, NO2, N2O, CH4, and HCl were within 10% while observations of CO and NO each had an average bias of about 25%. Comparisons of monthly average partial column O3 and NO2 with OSIRIS were highly correlated (R = 0.82-0.97) with monthly mean differences of < 3.1% for O3 and < 2.6% for NO2. Finally, comparisons with the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model revealed that the model consistently over-estimates tropospheric columns of CO and C2H6 observed at TAO. It was determined that the enhanced CO values were partially due to the North American emissions specified in the model, but more work must be done in the future if the source of this discrepancy is to be fully explained.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17305
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Physics - Doctoral theses

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