Evaluation of ACE-FTS and OSIRIS Satellite retrievals of ozone and nitric acid in the tropical upper troposphere: Application to ozone production efficiency

M. Cooper, R.V. Martin, B. Sauvage, C.D. Boone, K.A. Walker, P.F. Bernath, C.A. McLinden, D.A. Degenstein, A. Volz-Thomas, C. Wespes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We evaluate climatologies of upper tropospheric ozone and nitric acid retrieved from two satellite instruments (ACE-FTS and OSIRIS) with long-term in situ measurements from aircraft (MOZAIC, CR-AVE, PRE-AVE, PEM Tropics, and TC4) and ozonesondes. A global chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem) is used to guide the evaluation and to relate sparse in situ measurements with the satellite retrievals. Both satellite retrievals generally reproduce broad ozone features in the upper troposphere such as summer enhancements in the northern subtropics and larger concentrations over the tropical Atlantic versus the tropical Pacific. These comparisons indicate biases in annual, tropical mean ozone concentrations from both ACE-FTS (10-13%) and OSIRIS (5%) relative to aircraft and ozonesonde observations. More uncertain evidence suggests that nitric acid from ACE-FTS has a positive mean bias of 15%. We demonstrate that an upper limit on the ozone production efficiency in the upper troposphere can be determined using ACE-FTS satellite measurements of O and HNO . The resulting value of 196 (+34, -61) mol/mol is in broad agreement with model simulations. Higher OPE values inferred from ACE-FTS over the tropical Pacific (249 (+21, -68) mol/mol) than the tropical Atlantic (146 (+16, -41) mol/mol) reflect increasing ozone production efficiency with decreasing pollution. This analysis indicates a new capability of satellite observations to provide insight into ozone production in the tropical troposphere.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

Cite this