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Satellite remote sensing of trace gases and isotopic composition of the atmosphere

Speaker: Christopher Beale, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Series: EEWR Brown Bag Seminars
Location: Engineering Quad E225
Date/Time: Friday, April 26, 2019, 12:00:00 p.m. - 01:00:00 p.m.


Christopher BealeSatellite platforms provide measurements on a spatial scale beyond the capability of in situ, aircraft or ground-based instruments. Remote sensing from space-borne instruments can be used to measure a number of important factors affecting the Earth system, including the molecular composition of the atmosphere. The Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE, also known as SCISAT) is a Canadian satellite making measurements of a number of trace gases from a satellite in low earth orbit. The high orbital inclination (74°) allows near  global coverage. The primary instrument is a high-resolution Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) operating in the infrared, with the solar-occultation view of the instrument providing a vertical distribution of gases. ACE is also able to make measurements of the different isotopologues of a number of trace gases. Results from the first analyses of the ACE-measured isotopic distribution of methane and carbon monoxide over the whole Earth will be presented. The observed measurements have been compared to results from the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate  Model (WACCM). These results give significant insight to the chemistry and dynamics of the atmosphere and also provide information used to improve the retrieval process. Also presented are measurements of ammonia NH3 column densities over the Indian subcontinent region from the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI). The maps obtained from satellite observations and improved model input parameters provide better estimation of the NH3 emission sources for more accurate predictions of air quality and climate in this region.