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Using atmospheric trace gas vertical profiles to evaluate model fluxes: a case...

Sweeney, C., A. Chatterjee, S. Wolter, K. McKain, R. Bogue, S. Conley, T. Newberger, L. Hu, L. Ott, B. Poulter, L. Schiferl, B. Weir, Z. Zhang, and C. E. Miller (2023), Using atmospheric trace gas vertical profiles to evaluate model fluxes: a case study of Arctic-CAP observations and GEOS simulations for the ABoVE domain, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 22, 6347-6364, doi:10.5194/acp-22-6347-2022.

Accurate estimates of carbon–climate feedbacks require an independent means for evaluating surface flux models at regional scales. The altitude-integrated enhancement (AIE) derived from the Arctic Carbon Atmospheric Profiles (Arctic-CAP) project demonstrates the utility of this bulk quantity for surface flux model evaluation. This bulk quantity leverages background mole fraction values from the middle free troposphere, is agnostic to uncertainties in boundary layer height, and can be derived from model estimates of mole fractions and vertical gradients. To demonstrate the utility of the bulk quantity, six airborne profiling surveys of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), methane (CH4 ), and carbon monoxide (CO) throughout Alaska and northwestern Canada between April and November 2017 were completed as part of NASA’s Arctic–Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE). The Arctic-CAP sampling strategy involved acquiring vertical profiles of CO2 , CH4 , and CO from the surface to 5 km altitude at 25 sites around the ABoVE domain on a 4- to 6-week time interval. All ArcticCAP measurements were compared to a global simulation using the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) modeling system. Comparisons of the AIE bulk quantity from aircraft observations and GEOS simulations of atmospheric CO2 , CH4 , and CO highlight the fidelity of the modeled surface fluxes. The model–data comparison over the ABoVE domain reveals that while current state-of-the-art models and flux estimates are able to capture broad-scale spatial and temporal patterns in near-surface CO2 and CH4 concentrations, more work is needed to resolve fine-scale flux features that are captured in CO observations.

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Tropospheric Composition Program (TCP)