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Sentinel 5P: Carbon Monoxide (CO) Total Column level 2 data

Status: Ongoing
Online Status: ONLINE
Publication State: Published
Publication Date: 2021-05-20
Download Stats: last 12 months


Sentinel 5 Precursor (S5P) was launched on the 13th of October 2017 carrying the TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI). TROPOMI on the Sentinel 5 Precursor (S5P) satellite observes the CO global abundance exploiting clear-sky and cloudy-sky Earth radiance measurements in the 2.3 µm spectral range of the shortwave infrared (SWIR) part of the solar spectrum. TROPOMI clear sky observations provide CO total columns with sensitivity to the tropospheric boundary layer. For cloudy atmospheres, the column sensitivity changes according to the light path. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an important atmospheric trace gas for our understanding of tropospheric chemistry. In certain urban areas, it is a major atmospheric pollutant. The main sources of CO are the combustion of fossil fuels, biomass burning, and atmospheric oxidation of methane and other hydrocarbons. Whereas fossil fuel combustion is the main source of CO at Northern mid-latitudes, the oxidation of isoprene and biomass burning play an important role in the tropics.

Citable as:  Copernicus; European Space Agency (2021): Sentinel 5P: Carbon Monoxide (CO) Total Column level 2 data. NERC EDS Centre for Environmental Data Analysis, date of citation.
Abbreviation: Not defined
Keywords: Sentinel, CO, Carbon Monoxide, ESA


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Data lineage:

Data collected and prepared by European Space Agency (ESA). Downloaded from the Collaborative Hub for use by CEDA users.

Data Quality:
See dataset associated documentation.
File Format:
These data are provided in NetCDF format.

Process overview

This dataset was generated by a combination of instruments deployed on platforms and computations as detailed below.

Instrument/Platform pairings

TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) Deployed on: Sentinel 5 Precursor

Computation Element: 1

Title Level 2 Carbon Monoxide (CO) total column processing algorithm applied to Sentinel 5P TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) raw data
Abstract This computation involves the Level 2 processing algorithm applied to raw TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) data. The retrieval algorithm requires several input fields: • The measured Earth radiance and solar irradiance spectra including noise estimate, solar and viewing geometry, and information of geo-location. • ECMWF temperature, water vapor, and pressure profiles, and geo-potential height. • An estimate of the CH4 field using a chemistry transport model, e.g. Transport Model 5 (TM5, [RD33]). • An estimate of the CO column from a chemistry transport model (e.g. TM5). The retrieval is performed in two steps: first, as part of the SWIR preprocessing module, the vertically integrated amount of methane is retrieved from a dedicated fit window of the SWIR band between 2315 and 2324 nm using a non-scattering radiative transfer model. The extent of lightpath shortening and enhancement due to atmospheric scattering by clouds and aerosols can be indicated by comparing the retrieved CH4 column with a priori knowledge. If the difference ∆CH4 exceeds a certain threshold, observations are strongly contaminated by clouds and are rejected. In a second step, the SICOR full physics retrieval approach is used to infer CO columns from the adjacent spectral window, 2324-2338 nm. Here, the methane absorption features are used to infer information on atmospheric scattering by clouds and aerosols, which passed the cloud filter, together with the atmospheric CO and H2O abundances, surface albedo, and spectral calibration of the reflectance spectrum. The scattering layer has a triangular height distribution of fixed geometrical thickness, and its optical depth and height are parameters to be retrieved. This step of the retrieval relies on accurate a priori knowledge of CH4 which will be provided within an accuracy of ±3 % by a dedicated methane forecast using the TM5 atmospheric transport model. The atmospheric scattering is described by a two-stream radiative transfer model. Finally, the retrieval product consists of a CO column estimate including a column averaging kernel and a random error estimate. For more information on the processing algorithm please look at the ATBD document on the TROPOMI CO webpage.
Input Description None
Output Description None
Software Reference None
Output Description None

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