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MIPAS Observations of Organic compounds in the Upper Troposphere

John Remedios(1), David Moore(1) and Robert Parker(1)

(1) University of Leicester, EOS, Space Res Centre, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, United Kingdom


The MIPAS instrument on ENVISAT has achieved some excellent advances in knowledge of the upper troposphere and stratosphere. One of the most novel and important areas has been in the measurement of organic compounds in the upper troposphere, a critical area to test tropospheric chemistry and to obtain information on likely surface source/sink relationships. This revolution in atmospheric sensing of a whole new class of compounds was not explicitly foreseen in the original objectives of MIPAS. However, MIPAS has offered an excellent platform for this research because of its low tangent altitude sweeps measuring well into the troposphere, its high spectral resolution, and its high radiometric calibration accuracy coupled with the ability to fit well the strong spectral lines of the more abundant trace species such as water vapour, and ozone.

In this paper, the current status of MIPAS organic compound measurements, principally from full resolution mode, will be critically reviewed, showing the latest results for zonal, monthly maps and seasonal behaviour. Species discussed will include hydrocarbon tracers of differing lifetimes such as ethane and ethyne, modulators of tropospheric ozone chemistry such as acetone, formaldehyde and formic acid, and key reservoir species such as peroxyacetylnitrate. Through measurement of these species, it will be demonstrated that it is possible to deduce characteristics of surface-related sources such as biomass burning, and biogenic/anthropogenic emissions. Finally, the future outlook for developing further the MIPAS measurements of organic species in the troposphere will be discussed considering factors such as spectroscopy and spectral resolution mode changes.


Workshop presentation