Simultaneous assimilation of AIRS Xco2 and meteorological observations in a...

Liu, J., I. Fung, E. Kalnay, J. Kang, E. T. Olsen, and L. Chen (2012), Simultaneous assimilation of AIRS Xco2 and meteorological observations in a carbon climate model with an ensemble Kalman filter, J. Geophys. Res., 117, D05309, doi:10.1029/2011JD016642.

This study is our first step toward the generation of 6 hourly 3-D CO2 fields that can be used to validate CO2 forecast models by combining CO2 observations from multiple sources using ensemble Kalman filtering. We discuss a procedure to assimilate Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) column-averaged dry-air mole fraction of CO2 (Xco2) in conjunction with meteorological observations with the coupled Local Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter (LETKF)-Community Atmospheric Model version 3.5. We examine the impact of assimilating AIRS Xco2 observations on CO2 fields by comparing the results from the AIRS-run, which assimilates both AIRS Xco2 and meteorological observations, to those from the meteor-run, which only assimilates meteorological observations. We find that assimilating AIRS Xco2 results in a surface CO2 seasonal cycle and the N-S surface gradient closer to the observations. When taking account of the CO2 uncertainty estimation from the LETKF, the CO2 analysis brackets the observed seasonal cycle. Verification against independent aircraft observations shows that assimilating AIRS Xco2 improves the accuracy of the CO2 vertical profiles by about 0.5–2 ppm depending on location and altitude. The results show that the CO2 analysis ensemble spread at AIRS Xco2 space is between 0.5 and 2 ppm, and the CO2 analysis ensemble spread around the peak level of the averaging kernels is between 1 and 2 ppm. This uncertainty estimation is consistent with the magnitude of the CO2 analysis error verified against AIRS Xco2 observations and the independent aircraft CO2 vertical profiles.

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