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First Direct Observation of the Atmospheric Co2 Year-to-year Increase from Space : Volume 7, Issue 3 (16/05/2007)

By Buchwitz, M.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003997997
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 17
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: First Direct Observation of the Atmospheric Co2 Year-to-year Increase from Space : Volume 7, Issue 3 (16/05/2007)  
Author: Buchwitz, M.
Volume: Vol. 7, Issue 3
Language: English
Subject: Science, Atmospheric, Chemistry
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Bovensmann, H., Schneising, O., Burrows, J. P., Notholt, J., & Buchwitz, M. (2007). First Direct Observation of the Atmospheric Co2 Year-to-year Increase from Space : Volume 7, Issue 3 (16/05/2007). Retrieved from

Description: Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP), University of Bremen FB1, Bremen, Germany. The reliable prediction of future atmospheric CO2 concentrations and associated global climate change requires an adequate understanding of the CO2 sources and sinks. The sparseness of the existing surface measurement network limits current knowledge about the global distribution of CO2 surface fluxes. The retrieval of the CO2 total vertical column from satellite observations is predicted to improve this situation. Such an application however requires very high accuracy and precision on the order of 1% (4 ppm) or better. We report on retrievals of the column-averaged CO2 dry air mole fraction, denoted XCO2, from the measurements of the SCIAMACHY satellite instrument between 2003 and 2005. We focus on northern hemispheric large scale CO2 features such as the CO2 seasonal cycle and show – for the first time – that the atmospheric annual increase of CO2 can be directly observed using satellite measurements of the CO2 total column. The satellite retrievals are compared with the global assimilation system CarbonTracker and with local surface CO2 measurements based on weekly flask sampling. We show that the year-to-year CO2 increase as determined from the satellite data agrees with the reference data within about 1 ppm/year. We also show that the CO2 seasonal cycle over northern hemispheric low and mid latitudes can be retrieved with a precision of about 2 ppm. The results presented here demonstrate that it is possible using satellite measurements to retrieved information on the atmospheric CO2 on the level of a few parts per million.

First direct observation of the atmospheric CO2 year-to-year increase from space

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