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Open Access Publications from the University of California

On the feasibility of monitoring carbon monoxide in the lower troposphere from a constellation of Northern Hemisphere geostationary satellites: global scale assimilation experiments (Part II).


This paper describes the second phase of an Observing System Simulation Experiment (OSSE) that utilizes the synthetic measurements from a constellation of satellites measuring atmospheric composition from geostationary (GEO) Earth orbit presented in part I of the study. Our OSSE is focused on carbon monoxide observations over North America, East Asia and Europe where most of the anthropogenic sources are located. Here we assess the impact of a potential GEO constellation on constraining northern hemisphere (NH) carbon monoxide (CO) using data assimilation. We show how cloud cover affects the GEO constellation data density with the largest cloud cover (i.e., lowest data density) occurring during Asian summer. We compare the modeled state of the atmosphere (Control Run), before CO data assimilation, with the known "true" state of the atmosphere (Nature Run) and show that our setup provides realistic atmospheric CO fields and emission budgets. Overall, the Control Run underestimates CO concentrations in the northern hemisphere, especially in areas close to CO sources. Assimilation experiments show that constraining CO close to the main anthropogenic sources significantly reduces errors in NH CO compared to the Control Run. We assess the changes in error reduction when only single satellite instruments are available as compared to the full constellation. We find large differences in how measurements for each continental scale observation system affect the hemispherical improvement in long-range transport patterns, especially due to seasonal cloud cover. A GEO constellation will provide the most efficient constraint on NH CO during winter when CO lifetime is longer and increments from data assimilation associated with source regions are advected further around the globe.

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