Validation of SO2 retrievals from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) over NE China

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Validation of SO2 retrievals from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) over NE China, N. A. Krotkov, B. McClure, R. R. Dickerson, S. Carn, C. Li, P. K. Bhartia, K. Yang, A. Krueger, Z. Li, P. F. Levelt, Hongbin Chen, Pucai Wang and Daren Lu, J. Geophys. Res., 2008.



The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) launched on the NASA Aura satellite in July 2004 offers unprecedented spatial resolution, coupled with contiguous daily global coverage, for space-based UV measurements of sulfur dioxide (SO2). We present a first validation of the OMI SO2 data with in-situ aircraft measurements in NE China in April 2005. The study demonstrates that OMI can distinguish between background SO2 conditions and heavy pollution on a daily basis. The noise (expressed as the standard deviation, σ) in the PBL SO2 data is ~1.5DU (Dobson Unit, 2.691016 molecules/cm2) for instantaneous field of view (IFOV) data. By looking at the pristine South Pacific under optimal conditions we have determined that temporal and spatial averaging can improve the resolution of the instrument to σ ~ 0.3 DU; the long term average over this remote location was within 0.1 DU of zero. Under polluted conditions, however, Collection 2 data are higher than aircraft measurements by a factor of two in most cases. Parameterization of the airmass factor (AMF) appears to enhance the accuracy of the SO2 data. Improved calibrations of the radiance and irradiance data (Collection 3) result in better agreement with aircraft measurements on polluted days. The re-processed and AMF-corrected Collection 3 data still show positive bias and sensitivity to UV absorbing aerosols. The difference between the in situ data and the OMI daily PBL SO2 measurements within 30 km of the aircraft profiles was about 1 DU, equivalent to ~5 ppb from 0 to 3000 m altitude. Quantifying the SO2 profile and spectral dependence of aerosol absorption between 310 and 330 nm are critical for accurate estimates of SO2 from satellite UV measurements.