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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Pileci, Rosaria E.; Modini, Robin L.; Bertò, Michele; Yuan, Jinfeng; +13 Authors

    The mass concentration of black carbon (BC) particles in the atmosphere has traditionally been quantified with two methods: as elemental carbon (EC) concentrations measured by thermal–optical analysis and as equivalent black carbon (eBC) concentrations when BC mass is derived from particle light absorption coefficient measurements. Over the last decade, ambient measurements of refractory black carbon (rBC) mass concentrations based on laser-induced incandescence (LII) have become more common, mostly due to the development of the Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2) instrument. In this work, EC and rBC mass concentration measurements from field campaigns across several background European sites (Palaiseau, Bologna, Cabauw and Melpitz) have been collated and examined to identify the similarities and differences between BC mass concentrations measured by the two techniques. All EC concentration measurements in PM2.5 were performed with the EUSAAR-2 thermal–optical protocol. All rBC concentration measurements were performed with SP2 instruments calibrated with the same calibration material as recommended in the literature. The observed values of median rBC-to-EC mass concentration ratios on the single-campaign level were 0.53, 0.65, 0.97, 1.20 and 1.29, respectively, and the geometric standard deviation (GSD) was 1.5 when considering all data points from all five campaigns. This shows that substantial systematic bias between these two quantities occurred during some campaigns, which also contributes to the large overall GSD. Despite considerable variability in BC properties and sources across the whole dataset, it was not possible to clearly assign reasons for discrepancies to one or the other method, both known to have their own specific limitations and uncertainties. However, differences in the particle size range covered by these two methods were identified as one likely reason for discrepancies. Overall, the observed correlation between rBC and EC mass reveals a linear relationship with a constant ratio, thus providing clear evidence that both methods essentially quantify the same property of atmospheric aerosols, whereas systematic differences in measured absolute values by up to a factor of 2 can occur. This finding for the level of agreement between two current state-of-the-art techniques has important implications for studies based on BC mass concentration measurements, for example for the interpretation of uncertainties in inferred BC mass absorption coefficient values, which are required for modeling the radiative forcing of BC. Homogeneity between BC mass determination techniques is also very important for moving towards a routine BC mass measurement for air quality regulations.

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    Authors: Tirpitz, Jan-Lukas; Frieß, Udo; Hendrick, François; Alberti, Carlos; +61 Authors

    The second Cabauw Intercomparison of Nitrogen Dioxide measuring Instruments (CINDI-2) took place in Cabauw (the Netherlands) in September 2016 with the aim of assessing the consistency of multi-axis differential optical absorption spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) measurements of tropospheric species (NO2, HCHO, O3, HONO, CHOCHO and O4). This was achieved through the coordinated operation of 36 spectrometers operated by 24 groups from all over the world, together with a wide range of supporting reference observations (in situ analysers, balloon sondes, lidars, long-path DOAS, direct-sun DOAS, Sun photometer and meteorological instruments). In the presented study, the retrieved CINDI-2 MAX-DOAS trace gas (NO2, HCHO) and aerosol vertical profiles of 15 participating groups using different inversion algorithms are compared and validated against the colocated supporting observations, with the focus on aerosol optical thicknesses (AOTs), trace gas vertical column densities (VCDs) and trace gas surface concentrations. The algorithms are based on three different techniques: six use the optimal estimation method, two use a parameterized approach and one algorithm relies on simplified radiative transport assumptions and analytical calculations. To assess the agreement among the inversion algorithms independent of inconsistencies in the trace gas slant column density acquisition, participants applied their inversion to a common set of slant columns. Further, important settings like the retrieval grid, profiles of O3, temperature and pressure as well as aerosol optical properties and a priori assumptions (for optimal estimation algorithms) have been prescribed to reduce possible sources of discrepancies. The profiling results were found to be in good qualitative agreement: most participants obtained the same features in the retrieved vertical trace gas and aerosol distributions; however, these are sometimes at different altitudes and of different magnitudes. Under clear-sky conditions, the root-mean-square differences (RMSDs) among the results of individual participants are in the range of 0.01–0.1 for AOTs, (1.5–15) ×1014molec.cm-2 for trace gas (NO2, HCHO) VCDs and (0.3–8)×1010molec.cm-3 for trace gas surface concentrations. These values compare to approximate average optical thicknesses of 0.3, trace gas vertical columns of 90×1014molec.cm-2 and trace gas surface concentrations of 11×1010molec.cm-3 observed over the campaign period. The discrepancies originate from differences in the applied techniques, the exact implementation of the algorithms and the user-defined settings that were not prescribed. For the comparison against supporting observations, the RMSDs increase to a range of 0.02–0.2 against AOTs from the Sun photometer, (11–55)×1014molec.cm-2 against trace gas VCDs from direct-sun DOAS observations and (0.8–9)×1010molec.cm-3 against surface concentrations from the long-path DOAS instrument. This increase in RMSDs is most likely caused by uncertainties in the supporting data, spatiotemporal mismatch among the observations and simplified assumptions particularly on aerosol optical properties made for the MAX-DOAS retrieval. As a side investigation, the comparison was repeated with the participants retrieving profiles from their own differential slant column densities (dSCDs) acquired during the campaign. In this case, the consistency among the participants degrades by about 30 % for AOTs, by 180 % (40 %) for HCHO (NO2) VCDs and by 90 % (20 %) for HCHO (NO2) surface concentrations. In former publications and also during this comparison study, it was found that MAX-DOAS vertically integrated aerosol extinction coefficient profiles systematically underestimate the AOT observed by the Sun photometer. For the first time, it is quantitatively shown that for optimal estimation algorithms this can be largely explained and compensated by considering biases arising from the reduced sensitivity of MAX-DOAS observations to higher altitudes and associated a priori assumptions.

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    Authors: Weaver, Dan; Strong, Kimberly; Walker, Kaley A.; Sioris, Chris; +10 Authors

    Improving measurements of water vapour in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) is a priority for the atmospheric science community. In this work, UTLS water vapour profiles derived from Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) satellite measurements are assessed with coincident ground-based measurements taken at a high Arctic observatory at Eureka, Nunavut, Canada. Additional comparisons to satellite measurements taken by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS), Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS), Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric CHartography (SCIAMACHY), and Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) are included to put the ACE Fourier transform spectrometer (ACE-FTS) and ACE Measurement of Aerosol Extinction in the Stratosphere and Troposphere Retrieved by Occultation (ACE-MAESTRO) results in context. Measurements of water vapour profiles at Eureka are made using a Bruker 125HR solar absorption Fourier transform infrared spectrometer at the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) and radiosondes launched from the Eureka Weather Station. Radiosonde measurements used in this study were processed with software developed by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Reference Upper-Air Network (GRUAN) to account for known biases and calculate uncertainties in a well-documented and consistent manner. ACE-FTS measurements were within 11 ppmv (parts per million by volume; 13 %) of 125HR measurements between 6 and 14 km. Between 8 and 14 km ACE-FTS profiles showed a small wet bias of approximately 8 % relative to the 125HR. ACE-FTS water vapour profiles had mean differences of 13 ppmv (32 %) or better when compared to coincident radiosonde profiles at altitudes between 6 and 14 km; mean differences were within 6 ppmv (12 %) between 7 and 11 km. ACE-MAESTRO profiles showed a small dry bias relative to the 125HR of approximately 7 % between 6 and 9 km and 10 % between 10 and 14 km. ACE-MAESTRO profiles agreed within 30 ppmv (36 %) of the radiosondes between 7 and 14 km. ACE-FTS and ACE-MAESTRO comparison results show closer agreement with the radiosondes and PEARL 125HR overall than other satellite datasets – except for AIRS. Close agreement was observed between AIRS and the 125HR and radiosonde measurements, with mean differences within 5 % and correlation coefficients above 0.83 in the troposphere between 1 and 7 km. Comparisons to MLS at altitudes around 10 km showed a dry bias, e.g. mean differences between MLS and radiosondes were −25.6 %. SCIAMACHY comparisons were very limited due to minimal overlap between the vertical extent of the measurements. TES had no temporal overlap with the radiosonde dataset used in this study. Comparisons between TES and the 125HR showed a wet bias of approximately 25 % in the UTLS and mean differences within 14 % below 5 km.

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    Authors: Wang, J. M.; Jeong, C.-H.; Zimmerman, N.; Healy, R. M.; +3 Authors

    An automated identification and integration method has been developed for in-use vehicle emissions under real-world conditions. This technique was applied to high-time-resolution air pollutant measurements of in-use vehicle emissions performed under real-world conditions at a near-road monitoring station in Toronto, Canada, during four seasons, through month-long campaigns in 2013–2014. Based on carbon dioxide measurements, over 100 000 vehicle-related plumes were automatically identified and fuel-based emission factors for nitrogen oxides; carbon monoxide; particle number; black carbon; benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX); and methanol were determined for each plume. Thus the automated identification enabled the measurement of an unprecedented number of plumes and pollutants over an extended duration. Emission factors for volatile organic compounds were also measured roadside for the first time using a proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer; this instrument provided the time resolution required for the plume capture technique. Mean emission factors were characteristic of the light-duty gasoline-dominated vehicle fleet present at the measurement site, with mean black carbon and particle number emission factors of 35 mg kg fuel−1 and 7.5 × 1014 # kg fuel−1, respectively. The use of the plume-by-plume analysis enabled isolation of vehicle emissions, and the elucidation of co-emitted pollutants from similar vehicle types, variability of emissions across the fleet, and the relative contribution from heavy emitters. It was found that a small proportion of the fleet (< 25 %) contributed significantly to total fleet emissions: 100, 100, 81, and 77 % for black carbon, carbon monoxide, BTEX, and particle number, respectively. Emission factors of a single pollutant may help classify a vehicle as a high emitter; however, regulatory strategies to more efficiently target multi-pollutant mixtures may be better developed by considering the co-emitted pollutants as well.

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    Authors: Langowski, Martin P.; Savigny, Christian; Burrows, John P.; Fussen, Didier; +4 Authors

    During the last decade, several limb sounding satellites have measured the global sodium (Na) number densities in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT). Datasets are now available from Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars (GOMOS), the SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartography (SCIAMACHY) (both on Envisat) and the Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager System (OSIRIS) (on Odin). Furthermore, global model simulations of the Na layer in the MLT simulated by the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model, including the Na species (WACCM-Na), are available. In this paper, we compare these global datasets.The observed and simulated monthly averages of Na vertical column densities agree reasonably well with each other. They show a clear seasonal cycle with a summer minimum most pronounced at the poles. They also show signs of a semi-annual oscillation in the equatorial region. The vertical column densities vary from 0. 5 × 109 to 7 × 109 cm−2 near the poles and from 3 × 109 to 4 × 109 cm−2 at the Equator. The phase of the seasonal cycle and semi-annual oscillation shows small differences between the Na amounts retrieved from different instruments. The full width at half maximum of the profiles is 10 to 16 km for most latitudes, but significantly smaller in the polar summer. The centroid altitudes of the measured sodium profiles range from 89 to 95 km, whereas the model shows on average 2 to 4 km lower centroid altitudes. This may be explained by the mesopause being 3 km lower in the WACCM simulations than in measurements. Despite this global 2–4 km shift, the model captures well the latitudinal and temporal variations. The variation of the WACCM dataset during the year at different latitudes is similar to the one of the measurements. Furthermore, the differences between the measured profiles with different instruments and therefore different local times (LTs) are also present in the model-simulated profiles. This capturing of latitudinal and temporal variations is also found for the vertical column densities and profile widths.

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    Authors: Lohmann, Gerald M.; Monahan, Adam H.;

    Characterizations of short-term variability in solar radiation are required to successfully integrate large numbers of photovoltaic power systems into the electrical grid. Previous studies have used ground-based irradiance observations with a range of different temporal resolutions and a systematic analysis of the effects of temporal averaging on the representation of variability is lacking. Using high-resolution surface irradiance data with original temporal resolutions between 0.01 and 1 s from six different locations in the Northern Hemisphere, we characterize the changes in representation of temporal variability resulting from time averaging. In this analysis, we condition all data to states of mixed skies, which are the most potentially problematic in terms of local PV power volatility. Statistics of clear-sky index k* and its increments Δk*τ (i.e., normalized surface irradiance and changes therein over specified intervals of time) are considered separately. Our results indicate that a temporal averaging time scale of around 1 s marks a transition in representing single-point irradiance variability, such that longer averages result in substantial underestimates of variability. Higher-resolution data increase the complexity of data management and quality control without appreciably improving the representation of variability. The results do not show any substantial discrepancies between locations or seasons.

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    Authors: Adams, C.; Strong, K.; Batchelor, R. L.; Bernath, P. F.; +25 Authors

    The Optical Spectrograph and Infra-Red Imager System (OSIRIS) and the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) have been taking measurements from space since 2001 and 2003, respectively. This paper presents intercomparisons between ozone and NO2 measured by the ACE and OSIRIS satellite instruments and by ground-based instruments at the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL), which is located at Eureka, Canada (80° N, 86° W) and is operated by the Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC). The ground-based instruments included in this study are four zenith-sky differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) instruments, one Bruker Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) and four Brewer spectrophotometers. Ozone total columns measured by the DOAS instruments were retrieved using new Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC) guidelines and agree to within 3.2%. The DOAS ozone columns agree with the Brewer spectrophotometers with mean relative differences that are smaller than 1.5%. This suggests that for these instruments the new NDACC data guidelines were successful in producing a homogenous and accurate ozone dataset at 80° N. Satellite 14–52 km ozone and 17–40 km NO2 partial columns within 500 km of PEARL were calculated for ACE-FTS Version 2.2 (v2.2) plus updates, ACE-FTS v3.0, ACE-MAESTRO (Measurements of Aerosol Extinction in the Stratosphere and Troposphere Retrieved by Occultation) v1.2 and OSIRIS SaskMART v5.0x ozone and Optimal Estimation v3.0 NO2 data products. The new ACE-FTS v3.0 and the validated ACE-FTS v2.2 partial columns are nearly identical, with mean relative differences of 0.0 ± 0.2% and −0.2 ± 0.1% for v2.2 minus v3.0 ozone and NO2, respectively. Ozone columns were constructed from 14–52 km satellite and 0–14 km ozonesonde partial columns and compared with the ground-based total column measurements. The satellite-plus-sonde measurements agree with the ground-based ozone total columns with mean relative differences of 0.1–7.3%. For NO2, partial columns from 17 km upward were scaled to noon using a photochemical model. Mean relative differences between OSIRIS, ACE-FTS and ground-based NO2 measurements do not exceed 20%. ACE-MAESTRO measures more NO2 than the other instruments, with mean relative differences of 25–52%. Seasonal variation in the differences between NO2 partial columns is observed, suggesting that there are systematic errors in the measurements and/or the photochemical model corrections. For ozone spring-time measurements, additional coincidence criteria based on stratospheric temperature and the location of the polar vortex were found to improve agreement between some of the instruments. For ACE-FTS v2.2 minus Bruker FTIR, the 2007–2009 spring-time mean relative difference improved from −5.0 ± 0.4% to −3.1 ± 0.8% with the dynamical selection criteria. This was the largest improvement, likely because both instruments measure direct sunlight and therefore have well-characterized lines-of-sight compared with scattered sunlight measurements. For NO2, the addition of a ±1° latitude coincidence criterion improved spring-time intercomparison results, likely due to the sharp latitudinal gradient of NO2 during polar sunrise. The differences between satellite and ground-based measurements do not show any obvious trends over the missions, indicating that both the ACE and OSIRIS instruments continue to perform well.

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    Authors: Roscoe, H. K.; Roozendael, M.; Fayt, C.; Piesanie, A.; +47 Authors

    In June 2009, 22 spectrometers from 14 institutes measured tropospheric and stratospheric NO2 from the ground for more than 11 days during the Cabauw Intercomparison Campaign of Nitrogen Dioxide measuring Instruments (CINDI), at Cabauw, NL (51.97° N, 4.93° E). All visible instruments used a common wavelength range and set of cross sections for the spectral analysis. Most of the instruments were of the multi-axis design with analysis by differential spectroscopy software (MAX-DOAS), whose non-zenith slant columns were compared by examining slopes of their least-squares straight line fits to mean values of a selection of instruments, after taking 30-min averages. Zenith slant columns near twilight were compared by fits to interpolated values of a reference instrument, then normalised by the mean of the slopes of the best instruments. For visible MAX-DOAS instruments, the means of the fitted slopes for NO2 and O4 of all except one instrument were within 10% of unity at almost all non-zenith elevations, and most were within 5%. Values for UV MAX-DOAS instruments were almost as good, being 12% and 7%, respectively. For visible instruments at zenith near twilight, the means of the fitted slopes of all instruments were within 5% of unity. This level of agreement is as good as that of previous intercomparisons, despite the site not being ideal for zenith twilight measurements. It bodes well for the future of measurements of tropospheric NO2, as previous intercomparisons were only for zenith instruments focussing on stratospheric NO2, with their longer heritage.

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    Authors: Barthlott, S; Schneider, M; Hase, F; Wiegele, A; +23 Authors

    Within the NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change), more than 20 FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared) spectrometers, spread worldwide, provide long-term data records of many atmospheric trace gases. We present a method that uses measured and modelled XCO2 for assessing the consistency of these NDACC data records. Our XCO2 retrieval setup is kept simple so that it can easily be adopted for any NDACC/FTIR-like measurement made since the late 1950s. By a comparison to coincident TCCON (Total Carbon Column Observing Network) measurements, we empirically demonstrate the useful quality of this suggested NDACC XCO2 product (empirically obtained scatter between TCCON and NDACC is about 4‰ for daily mean as well as monthly mean comparisons, and the bias is 25‰). Our XCO2 model is a simple regression model fitted to CarbonTracker results and the Mauna Loa CO2 in situ records. A comparison to TCCON data suggests an uncertainty of the model for monthly mean data of below 3‰. We apply the method to the NDACC/FTIR spectra that are used within the project MUSICA (multi-platform remote sensing of isotopologues for investigating the cycle of atmospheric water) and demonstrate that there is a good consistency for these globally representative set of spectra measured since 1996: the scatter between the modelled and measured XCO2 on a yearly time scale is only 3‰.

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    Authors: Schneider, M.; Barthlott, S.; Hase, F.; González, Y.; +22 Authors

    Within the project MUSICA (MUlti-platform remote Sensing of Isotopologues for investigating the Cycle of Atmospheric water), long-term tropospheric water vapour isotopologue data records are provided for ten globally distributed ground-based mid-infrared remote sensing stations of the NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change). We present a new method allowing for an extensive and straightforward characterisation of the complex nature of such isotopologue remote sensing datasets. We demonstrate that the MUSICA humidity profiles are representative for most of the troposphere with a vertical resolution ranging from about 2 km (in the lower troposphere) to 8 km (in the upper troposphere) and with an estimated precision of better than 10%. We find that the sensitivity with respect to the isotopologue composition is limited to the lower and middle troposphere, whereby we estimate a precision of about 30‰ for the ratio between the two isotopologues HD16O and H216O. The measurement noise, the applied atmospheric temperature profiles, the uncertainty in the spectral baseline, and the cross-dependence on humidity are the leading error sources. We introduce an a posteriori correction method of the cross-dependence on humidity, and we recommend applying it to isotopologue ratio remote sensing datasets in general. In addition, we present mid-infrared CO2 retrievals and use them for demonstrating the MUSICA network-wide data consistency. In order to indicate the potential of long-term isotopologue remote sensing data if provided with a well-documented quality, we present a climatology and compare it to simulations of an isotope incorporated AGCM (Atmospheric General Circulation Model). We identify differences in the multi-year mean and seasonal cycles that significantly exceed the estimated errors, thereby indicating deficits in the modeled atmospheric water cycle.

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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Pileci, Rosaria E.; Modini, Robin L.; Bertò, Michele; Yuan, Jinfeng; +13 Authors

    The mass concentration of black carbon (BC) particles in the atmosphere has traditionally been quantified with two methods: as elemental carbon (EC) concentrations measured by thermal–optical analysis and as equivalent black carbon (eBC) concentrations when BC mass is derived from particle light absorption coefficient measurements. Over the last decade, ambient measurements of refractory black carbon (rBC) mass concentrations based on laser-induced incandescence (LII) have become more common, mostly due to the development of the Single Particle Soot Photometer (SP2) instrument. In this work, EC and rBC mass concentration measurements from field campaigns across several background European sites (Palaiseau, Bologna, Cabauw and Melpitz) have been collated and examined to identify the similarities and differences between BC mass concentrations measured by the two techniques. All EC concentration measurements in PM2.5 were performed with the EUSAAR-2 thermal–optical protocol. All rBC concentration measurements were performed with SP2 instruments calibrated with the same calibration material as recommended in the literature. The observed values of median rBC-to-EC mass concentration ratios on the single-campaign level were 0.53, 0.65, 0.97, 1.20 and 1.29, respectively, and the geometric standard deviation (GSD) was 1.5 when considering all data points from all five campaigns. This shows that substantial systematic bias between these two quantities occurred during some campaigns, which also contributes to the large overall GSD. Despite considerable variability in BC properties and sources across the whole dataset, it was not possible to clearly assign reasons for discrepancies to one or the other method, both known to have their own specific limitations and uncertainties. However, differences in the particle size range covered by these two methods were identified as one likely reason for discrepancies. Overall, the observed correlation between rBC and EC mass reveals a linear relationship with a constant ratio, thus providing clear evidence that both methods essentially quantify the same property of atmospheric aerosols, whereas systematic differences in measured absolute values by up to a factor of 2 can occur. This finding for the level of agreement between two current state-of-the-art techniques has important implications for studies based on BC mass concentration measurements, for example for the interpretation of uncertainties in inferred BC mass absorption coefficient values, which are required for modeling the radiative forcing of BC. Homogeneity between BC mass determination techniques is also very important for moving towards a routine BC mass measurement for air quality regulations.

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    Authors: Tirpitz, Jan-Lukas; Frieß, Udo; Hendrick, François; Alberti, Carlos; +61 Authors

    The second Cabauw Intercomparison of Nitrogen Dioxide measuring Instruments (CINDI-2) took place in Cabauw (the Netherlands) in September 2016 with the aim of assessing the consistency of multi-axis differential optical absorption spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) measurements of tropospheric species (NO2, HCHO, O3, HONO, CHOCHO and O4). This was achieved through the coordinated operation of 36 spectrometers operated by 24 groups from all over the world, together with a wide range of supporting reference observations (in situ analysers, balloon sondes, lidars, long-path DOAS, direct-sun DOAS, Sun photometer and meteorological instruments). In the presented study, the retrieved CINDI-2 MAX-DOAS trace gas (NO2, HCHO) and aerosol vertical profiles of 15 participating groups using different inversion algorithms are compared and validated against the colocated supporting observations, with the focus on aerosol optical thicknesses (AOTs), trace gas vertical column densities (VCDs) and trace gas surface concentrations. The algorithms are based on three different techniques: six use the optimal estimation method, two use a parameterized approach and one algorithm relies on simplified radiative transport assumptions and analytical calculations. To assess the agreement among the inversion algorithms independent of inconsistencies in the trace gas slant column density acquisition, participants applied their inversion to a common set of slant columns. Further, important settings like the retrieval grid, profiles of O3, temperature and pressure as well as aerosol optical properties and a priori assumptions (for optimal estimation algorithms) have been prescribed to reduce possible sources of discrepancies. The profiling results were found to be in good qualitative agreement: most participants obtained the same features in the retrieved vertical trace gas and aerosol distributions; however, these are sometimes at different altitudes and of different magnitudes. Under clear-sky conditions, the root-mean-square differences (RMSDs) among the results of individual participants are in the range of 0.01–0.1 for AOTs, (1.5–15) ×1014molec.cm-2 for trace gas (NO2, HCHO) VCDs and (0.3–8)×1010molec.cm-3 for trace gas surface concentrations. These values compare to approximate average optical thicknesses of 0.3, trace gas vertical columns of 90×1014molec.cm-2 and trace gas surface concentrations of 11×1010molec.cm-3 observed over the campaign period. The discrepancies originate from differences in the applied techniques, the exact implementation of the algorithms and the user-defined settings that were not prescribed. For the comparison against supporting observations, the RMSDs increase to a range of 0.02–0.2 against AOTs from the Sun photometer, (11–55)×1014molec.cm-2 against trace gas VCDs from direct-sun DOAS observations and (0.8–9)×1010molec.cm-3 against surface concentrations from the long-path DOAS instrument. This increase in RMSDs is most likely caused by uncertainties in the supporting data, spatiotemporal mismatch among the observations and simplified assumptions particularly on aerosol optical properties made for the MAX-DOAS retrieval. As a side investigation, the comparison was repeated with the participants retrieving profiles from their own differential slant column densities (dSCDs) acquired during the campaign. In this case, the consistency among the participants degrades by about 30 % for AOTs, by 180 % (40 %) for HCHO (NO2) VCDs and by 90 % (20 %) for HCHO (NO2) surface concentrations. In former publications and also during this comparison study, it was found that MAX-DOAS vertically integrated aerosol extinction coefficient profiles systematically underestimate the AOT observed by the Sun photometer. For the first time, it is quantitatively shown that for optimal estimation algorithms this can be largely explained and compensated by considering biases arising from the reduced sensitivity of MAX-DOAS observations to higher altitudes and associated a priori assumptions.

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    Authors: Weaver, Dan; Strong, Kimberly; Walker, Kaley A.; Sioris, Chris; +10 Authors

    Improving measurements of water vapour in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) is a priority for the atmospheric science community. In this work, UTLS water vapour profiles derived from Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) satellite measurements are assessed with coincident ground-based measurements taken at a high Arctic observatory at Eureka, Nunavut, Canada. Additional comparisons to satellite measurements taken by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS), Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS), Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric CHartography (SCIAMACHY), and Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) are included to put the ACE Fourier transform spectrometer (ACE-FTS) and ACE Measurement of Aerosol Extinction in the Stratosphere and Troposphere Retrieved by Occultation (ACE-MAESTRO) results in context. Measurements of water vapour profiles at Eureka are made using a Bruker 125HR solar absorption Fourier transform infrared spectrometer at the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) and radiosondes launched from the Eureka Weather Station. Radiosonde measurements used in this study were processed with software developed by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) Reference Upper-Air Network (GRUAN) to account for known biases and calculate uncertainties in a well-documented and consistent manner. ACE-FTS measurements were within 11 ppmv (parts per million by volume; 13 %) of 125HR measurements between 6 and 14 km. Between 8 and 14 km ACE-FTS profiles showed a small wet bias of approximately 8 % relative to the 125HR. ACE-FTS water vapour profiles had mean differences of 13 ppmv (32 %) or better when compared to coincident radiosonde profiles at altitudes between 6 and 14 km; mean differences were within 6 ppmv (12 %) between 7 and 11 km. ACE-MAESTRO profiles showed a small dry bias relative to the 125HR of approximately 7 % between 6 and 9 km and 10 % between 10 and 14 km. ACE-MAESTRO profiles agreed within 30 ppmv (36 %) of the radiosondes between 7 and 14 km. ACE-FTS and ACE-MAESTRO comparison results show closer agreement with the radiosondes and PEARL 125HR overall than other satellite datasets – except for AIRS. Close agreement was observed between AIRS and the 125HR and radiosonde measurements, with mean differences within 5 % and correlation coefficients above 0.83 in the troposphere between 1 and 7 km. Comparisons to MLS at altitudes around 10 km showed a dry bias, e.g. mean differences between MLS and radiosondes were −25.6 %. SCIAMACHY comparisons were very limited due to minimal overlap between the vertical extent of the measurements. TES had no temporal overlap with the radiosonde dataset used in this study. Comparisons between TES and the 125HR showed a wet bias of approximately 25 % in the UTLS and mean differences within 14 % below 5 km.

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    Authors: Wang, J. M.; Jeong, C.-H.; Zimmerman, N.; Healy, R. M.; +3 Authors

    An automated identification and integration method has been developed for in-use vehicle emissions under real-world conditions. This technique was applied to high-time-resolution air pollutant measurements of in-use vehicle emissions performed under real-world conditions at a near-road monitoring station in Toronto, Canada, during four seasons, through month-long campaigns in 2013–2014. Based on carbon dioxide measurements, over 100 000 vehicle-related plumes were automatically identified and fuel-based emission factors for nitrogen oxides; carbon monoxide; particle number; black carbon; benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX); and methanol were determined for each plume. Thus the automated identification enabled the measurement of an unprecedented number of plumes and pollutants over an extended duration. Emission factors for volatile organic compounds were also measured roadside for the first time using a proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer; this instrument provided the time resolution required for the plume capture technique. Mean emission factors were characteristic of the light-duty gasoline-dominated vehicle fleet present at the measurement site, with mean black carbon and particle number emission factors of 35 mg kg fuel−1 and 7.5 × 1014 # kg fuel−1, respectively. The use of the plume-by-plume analysis enabled isolation of vehicle emissions, and the elucidation of co-emitted pollutants from similar vehicle types, variability of emissions across the fleet, and the relative contribution from heavy emitters. It was found that a small proportion of the fleet (< 25 %) contributed significantly to total fleet emissions: 100, 100, 81, and 77 % for black carbon, carbon monoxide, BTEX, and particle number, respectively. Emission factors of a single pollutant may help classify a vehicle as a high emitter; however, regulatory strategies to more efficiently target multi-pollutant mixtures may be better developed by considering the co-emitted pollutants as well.

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    Authors: Langowski, Martin P.; Savigny, Christian; Burrows, John P.; Fussen, Didier; +4 Authors

    During the last decade, several limb sounding satellites have measured the global sodium (Na) number densities in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT). Datasets are now available from Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars (GOMOS), the SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartography (SCIAMACHY) (both on Envisat) and the Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imager System (OSIRIS) (on Odin). Furthermore, global model simulations of the Na layer in the MLT simulated by the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model, including the Na species (WACCM-Na), are available. In this paper, we compare these global datasets.The observed and simulated monthly averages of Na vertical column densities agree reasonably well with each other. They show a clear seasonal cycle with a summer minimum most pronounced at the poles. They also show signs of a semi-annual oscillation in the equatorial region. The vertical column densities vary from 0. 5 × 109 to 7 × 109 cm−2 near the poles and from 3 × 109 to 4 × 109 cm−2 at the Equator. The phase of the seasonal cycle and semi-annual oscillation shows small differences between the Na amounts retrieved from different instruments. The full width at half maximum of the profiles is 10 to 16 km for most latitudes, but significantly smaller in the polar summer. The centroid altitudes of the measured sodium profiles range from 89 to 95 km, whereas the model shows on average 2 to 4 km lower centroid altitudes. This may be explained by the mesopause being 3 km lower in the WACCM simulations than in measurements. Despite this global 2–4 km shift, the model captures well the latitudinal and temporal variations. The variation of the WACCM dataset during the year at different latitudes is similar to the one of the measurements. Furthermore, the differences between the measured profiles with different instruments and therefore different local times (LTs) are also present in the model-simulated profiles. This capturing of latitudinal and temporal variations is also found for the vertical column densities and profile widths.

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    Authors: Lohmann, Gerald M.; Monahan, Adam H.;

    Characterizations of short-term variability in solar radiation are required to successfully integrate large numbers of photovoltaic power systems into the electrical grid. Previous studies have used ground-based irradiance observations with a range of different temporal resolutions and a systematic analysis of the effects of temporal averaging on the representation of variability is lacking. Using high-resolution surface irradiance data with original temporal resolutions between 0.01 and 1 s from six different locations in the Northern Hemisphere, we characterize the changes in representation of temporal variability resulting from time averaging. In this analysis, we condition all data to states of mixed skies, which are the most potentially problematic in terms of local PV power volatility. Statistics of clear-sky index k* and its increments Δk*τ (i.e., normalized surface irradiance and changes therein over specified intervals of time) are considered separately. Our results indicate that a temporal averaging time scale of around 1 s marks a transition in representing single-point irradiance variability, such that longer averages result in substantial underestimates of variability. Higher-resolution data increase the complexity of data management and quality control without appreciably improving the representation of variability. The results do not show any substantial discrepancies between locations or seasons.

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    Authors: Adams, C.; Strong, K.; Batchelor, R. L.; Bernath, P. F.; +25 Authors

    The Optical Spectrograph and Infra-Red Imager System (OSIRIS) and the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) have been taking measurements from space since 2001 and 2003, respectively. This paper presents intercomparisons between ozone and NO2 measured by the ACE and OSIRIS satellite instruments and by ground-based instruments at the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL), which is located at Eureka, Canada (80° N, 86° W) and is operated by the Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC). The ground-based instruments included in this study are four zenith-sky differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) instruments, one Bruker Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) and four Brewer spectrophotometers. Ozone total columns measured by the DOAS instruments were retrieved using new Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC) guidelines and agree to within 3.2%. The DOAS ozone columns agree with the Brewer spectrophotometers with mean relative differences that are smaller than 1.5%. This suggests that for these instruments the new NDACC data guidelines were successful in producing a homogenous and accurate ozone dataset at 80° N. Satellite 14–52 km ozone and 17–40 km NO2 partial columns within 500 km of PEARL were calculated for ACE-FTS Version 2.2 (v2.2) plus updates, ACE-FTS v3.0, ACE-MAESTRO (Measurements of Aerosol Extinction in the Stratosphere and Troposphere Retrieved by Occultation) v1.2 and OSIRIS SaskMART v5.0x ozone and Optimal Estimation v3.0 NO2 data products. The new ACE-FTS v3.0 and the validated ACE-FTS v2.2 partial columns are nearly identical, with mean relative differences of 0.0 ± 0.2% and −0.2 ± 0.1% for v2.2 minus v3.0 ozone and NO2, respectively. Ozone columns were constructed from 14–52 km satellite and 0–14 km ozonesonde partial columns and compared with the ground-based total column measurements. The satellite-plus-sonde measurements agree with the ground-based ozone total columns with mean relative differences of 0.1–7.3%. For NO2, partial columns from 17 km upward were scaled to noon using a photochemical model. Mean relative differences between OSIRIS, ACE-FTS and ground-based NO2 measurements do not exceed 20%. ACE-MAESTRO measures more NO2 than the other instruments, with mean relative differences of 25–52%. Seasonal variation in the differences between NO2 partial columns is observed, suggesting that there are systematic errors in the measurements and/or the photochemical model corrections. For ozone spring-time measurements, additional coincidence criteria based on stratospheric temperature and the location of the polar vortex were found to improve agreement between some of the instruments. For ACE-FTS v2.2 minus Bruker FTIR, the 2007–2009 spring-time mean relative difference improved from −5.0 ± 0.4% to −3.1 ± 0.8% with the dynamical selection criteria. This was the largest improvement, likely because both instruments measure direct sunlight and therefore have well-characterized lines-of-sight compared with scattered sunlight measurements. For NO2, the addition of a ±1° latitude coincidence criterion improved spring-time intercomparison results, likely due to the sharp latitudinal gradient of NO2 during polar sunrise. The differences between satellite and ground-based measurements do not show any obvious trends over the missions, indicating that both the ACE and OSIRIS instruments continue to perform well.

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    Authors: Roscoe, H. K.; Roozendael, M.; Fayt, C.; Piesanie, A.; +47 Authors

    In June 2009, 22 spectrometers from 14 institutes measured tropospheric and stratospheric NO2 from the ground for more than 11 days during the Cabauw Intercomparison Campaign of Nitrogen Dioxide measuring Instruments (CINDI), at Cabauw, NL (51.97° N, 4.93° E). All visible instruments used a common wavelength range and set of cross sections for the spectral analysis. Most of the instruments were of the multi-axis design with analysis by differential spectroscopy software (MAX-DOAS), whose non-zenith slant columns were compared by examining slopes of their least-squares straight line fits to mean values of a selection of instruments, after taking 30-min averages. Zenith slant columns near twilight were compared by fits to interpolated values of a reference instrument, then normalised by the mean of the slopes of the best instruments. For visible MAX-DOAS instruments, the means of the fitted slopes for NO2 and O4 of all except one instrument were within 10% of unity at almost all non-zenith elevations, and most were within 5%. Values for UV MAX-DOAS instruments were almost as good, being 12% and 7%, respectively. For visible instruments at zenith near twilight, the means of the fitted slopes of all instruments were within 5% of unity. This level of agreement is as good as that of previous intercomparisons, despite the site not being ideal for zenith twilight measurements. It bodes well for the future of measurements of tropospheric NO2, as previous intercomparisons were only for zenith instruments focussing on stratospheric NO2, with their longer heritage.

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    Authors: Barthlott, S; Schneider, M; Hase, F; Wiegele, A; +23 Authors

    Within the NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change), more than 20 FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared) spectrometers, spread worldwide, provide long-term data records of many atmospheric trace gases. We present a method that uses measured and modelled XCO2 for assessing the consistency of these NDACC data records. Our XCO2 retrieval setup is kept simple so that it can easily be adopted for any NDACC/FTIR-like measurement made since the late 1950s. By a comparison to coincident TCCON (Total Carbon Column Observing Network) measurements, we empirically demonstrate the useful quality of this suggested NDACC XCO2 product (empirically obtained scatter between TCCON and NDACC is about 4‰ for daily mean as well as monthly mean comparisons, and the bias is 25‰). Our XCO2 model is a simple regression model fitted to CarbonTracker results and the Mauna Loa CO2 in situ records. A comparison to TCCON data suggests an uncertainty of the model for monthly mean data of below 3‰. We apply the method to the NDACC/FTIR spectra that are used within the project MUSICA (multi-platform remote sensing of isotopologues for investigating the cycle of atmospheric water) and demonstrate that there is a good consistency for these globally representative set of spectra measured since 1996: the scatter between the modelled and measured XCO2 on a yearly time scale is only 3‰.

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