Retrieval of atmospheric CH_4 vertical information from ground-based FTS near-infrared spectra

Minqiang Zhou*, Bavo Langerock, Mahesh Sha, Nicolas Kumps, Christian Hermans, Christof Petri, Thorsten Warneke, Huilin Chen, Jean-Marc Metzger, Rigel Kivi, Pauli Heikkinen, Michel Ramonet, Martine De Mazière

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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The Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) column-averaged dry air mole fraction of CH4 (XCH4) measurements have been widely used to validate satellite observations and to estimate model simulations. The GGG2014 code is the standard TCCON retrieval software used in performing a profile scaling retrieval. In order to obtain several vertical pieces of information in addition to the total column, in this study, the SFIT4 retrieval code is applied to retrieve the CH4 mole fraction vertical profile from the Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) spectrum at six sites (Ny-Ålesund, Sodankylä, Bialystok, Bremen, Orléans and St Denis) during the time period of 2016–2017. The retrieval strategy of the CH4 profile retrieval from ground-based FTS near-infrared (NIR) spectra using the SFIT4 code (SFIT4NIR) is investigated. The degree of freedom for signal (DOFS) of the SFIT4NIR retrieval is about 2.4, with two distinct pieces of information in the troposphere and in the stratosphere. The averaging kernel and error budget of the SFIT4NIR retrieval are presented. The data accuracy and precision of the SFIT4NIR retrievals, including the total column and two partial columns (in the troposphere and stratosphere), are estimated by TCCON standard retrievals, ground-based in situ measurements, Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment – Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS) satellite observations, TCCON proxy data and AirCore and aircraft measurements. By comparison against TCCON standard retrievals, it is found that the retrieval uncertainty of SFIT4NIR XCH4 is similar to that of TCCON standard retrievals with systematic uncertainty within 0.35 % and random uncertainty of about 0.5 %. The tropospheric and stratospheric XCH4 from SFIT4NIR retrievals are assessed by comparison with AirCore and aircraft measurements, and there is a 1.0 ± 0.3 % overestimation in the SFIT4NIR tropospheric XCH4 and a 4.0 ± 2.0 % underestimation in the SFIT4NIR stratospheric XCH4, which are within the systematic uncertainties of SFIT4NIR-retrieved partial columns in the troposphere and stratosphere respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6125-6141
Number of pages17
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 25-Nov-2019


  • CO2
  • GAS

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