Harmonization and Diagnostics of MIPAS ESA CH4 and N2O Profiles Using Data Assimilation
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions
This paper discusses assimilation experiments of methane (CH<sub>4</sub>) and nitrous oxide (N<sub>2</sub>O) profiles observed by the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS). Here we focus on data versions 6 and 7 retrieved by the ESA processor. These datasets have been assimilated by the Belgian Assimilation System for Chemical ObsErvations (BASCOE). The CH<sub>4</sub> and N<sub>2</sub>O profiles can be noisy especially in the tropical lower stratosphere. Using the
... phere. Using the averaging kernels of the observations and a background error covariance matrix &ndash; the B matrix, which has been previously calibrated, allows the system to partly remedy this issue and provide assimilated fields that are more regular vertically. In general, there is a good agreement between the BASCOE analyses and independent observations demonstrating the general good quality of these two retrievals provided by MIPAS ESA. Nevertheless, this study also identifies two issues in these datasets. First, time-series of the observations show unexpected discontinuities, due to the calibration method used for the level-1 data. Second, the correlations between BASCOE analyses and independent observations are poor in the lower stratosphere, especially in the tropics, probably due to the presence of outliers in the assimilated data. In this region, we recommend using MIPAS CH<sub>4</sub> and N<sub>2</sub>O observations with caution.