On the performance of satellite-based observations of XCO2in capturing the NOAA Carbon Tracker model and ground-based flask observations over Africa's land mass

Anteneh Getachew Mengistu, Gizaw Mengistu Tsidu

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Abstract

Africa is one of the most data-scarce regions as satellite observation at the Equator is limited by cloud cover and there is a very limited number of ground-based measurements. As a result, the use of simulations from models is mandatory to fill this data gap. A comparison of satellite observation with model and available in situ observations will be useful to estimate the performance of satellites in the region. In this study, GOSAT column-averaged carbon dioxide dry-air mole fraction (XCO2) is compared with the NOAA CT2016 and six flask observations over Africa using 5 years of data covering the period from May 2009 to April 2014. Ditto for OCO-2 XCO2 against NOAA CT16NRT17 and eight flask observations over Africa using 2 years of data covering the period from January 2015 to December 2016. The analysis shows that the XCO2 from GOSAT is higher than XCO2 simulated by CT2016 by 0:28 ± 1:05 ppm, whereas OCO-2 XCO2 is lower than CT16NRT17 by 0:34±0:9 ppm on the African land mass on average. The mean correlations of 0:83±1:12 and 0:60±1:41 and average root mean square deviation (RMSD) of 2:30 ± 1:45 and 2:57 ± 0:89 ppm are found between the model and the respective datasets from GOSAT and OCO-2, implying the existence of a reasonably good agreement between CT and the two satellites over Africa's land region. However, significant variations were observed in some regions. For example, OCO-2 XCO2 are lower than that of CT16NRT17 by up to 3 ppm over some regions in North Africa (e.g. Egypt, Libya, and Mali), whereas it exceeds CT16NRT17 XCO2 by 2 ppm over Equatorial Africa (10° S-10° N). This regional difference is also noted in the comparison of model simulations and satellite observations with flask observations over the continent. For example, CT shows a better sensitivity in capturing flask observations over sites located in North Africa. In contrast, satellite observations have better sensitivity in capturing flask observations in lower-altitude island sites. CT2016 shows a high spatial mean of seasonal mean RMSD of 1.91 ppm during DJF with respect to GOSAT, while CT16NRT17 shows 1.75 ppm during MAM with respect to OCO-2. On the other hand, low RMSDs of 1.00 and 1.07 ppm during SON in the model XCO2 with respect to GOSAT and OCO-2 are respectively determined, indicating better agreement during autumn. The model simulation and satellite observations exhibit similar seasonal cycles of XCO2 with a small discrepancy over Southern Africa (35-10° S) and during wet seasons over all regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4009-4033
Number of pages25
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 24 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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