Tropospheric NO2 columns: a comparison between model and retrieved data from GOME measurements
1DLR Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, D-82234 Wessling, Germany
2Institut für Umweltphysik, Universität Bremen, D-28359 Bremen, Germany
Abstract. Tropospheric NO2 plays a variety of significant roles in atmospheric chemistry. In the troposphere it is one of the most significant precursors of photochemical ozone (O3) production and nitric acid (HNO3). In this study tropospheric NO2 columns were calculated by the fully coupled chemistry-climate model ECHAM4.L39(DLR)/CHEM. These have been compared with tropospheric NO2 columns, retrieved using the tropospheric excess method from measurements by the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME) of up-welling earthshine radiance and the extraterrestrial irradiance. GOME is part of the core payload of the second European Research Satellite (ERS-2). For this study the first five years of GOME measurements have been used. The period of five years of observational data is sufficiently long to facilitate for the first time a comparison based on climatological averages with global coverage, focussing on the geographical distribution of the tropospheric NO2.
A new approach of analysing regional differences (i.e. on continental scales) by calculating individual averages for different environments provides more detailed information about specific NOx sources and of their seasonal variations. The results obtained enable the validity of the model NO2 source distribution and the assumptions used to separate tropospheric and stratospheric parts of the NO2 column amount from the satellite measurements to be investigated.