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Assessing acetone and PAN measurements in the UTLS from the MIPAS-E instrument

David Moore(1), John Remedios(1), Nigel Richards(2), Martyn Chipperfield(2), Robert Parker(1) and Steve Arnold(2)

(1) University of Leicester, University Road, LE1 7RH Leicester, United Kingdom
(2) University of Leeds, , Leeds, United Kingdom


Emissions of anthropogenic pollution, from biomass burning events in particular, result in the injection of a wide range of carbon compounds into the atmosphere. Carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released in significant amounts, affecting both the oxidation capacity of the troposphere and ozone production. The recent rapid progress in both the detection and retrieval of many VOC species in the upper troposphere (UT) from spaceborne instrumentation has been large. It has recently been established that the observation of the global distribution of VOCs in the UT can be made by measurements provided by instruments such as the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding onboard ENVISAT (MIPAS-E) or the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) onboard SCISAT-1. This paper presents global retrievals of PAN and acetone volume mixing ratios (vmrs) in the UT and compares the results to model estimates.

Inversion of the measured MIPAS-E spectra into vmrs is performed using an independent offline-retrieval scheme based on the optimal estimation approach which was developed at the University of Oxford (MORSE). In this work, we discuss the ability of MIPAS-E to provide very new global measurements of acetone in the UT and describe both the distribution and seasonality observed in UT PAN vmrs. A key focus of the study is to evaluate the consistency between our results for PAN and acetone and calculations from global chemical transport models such as TOMCAT, which is a 3-D chemical transport model, which has recently been updated to include new temperature-dependent quantum yields for acetone photolysis. A full error analysis is carried out for each of the gases we analyse. We aim to show that the MIPAS-E is a suitable instrument with which to study organic compounds in the upper troposphere.