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Optimal estimation of tropospheric H2O and δD with IASI/METOP

by M Schneider, F Hase
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions ()

Abstract

We present an optimal estimation retrieval for tropospheric H2O and δD applying thermal nadir spectra measured by the instrument IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer) flown on EUMETSAT's polar orbiter METOP. We document that the IASI spectra allow for retrieving H2O profiles between the surface and the upper troposphere as well as middle tropospheric δD values. A theoretical error estimation suggests a precision for H2O of better than 35 % in the lower troposphere and of better than 15 % in the middle and upper troposphere, respectively, whereby surface emissivity and atmospheric temperature uncertainties are the leading error sources. For the middle tropospheric δD values we estimate a precision of 15-20%; with the measurement noise being the dominating error source. We compare our IASI products to a large number of quasi coincident radiosonde in-situ and ground-based FTS (Fourier Transform Spectrometer) remote sensing measurements and find no significant bias between the H2O and δD data obtained by the different techniques. Furthermore, the scatter between the different data sets confirms our theoretical precision estimates. 2011 Author(s).

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