Atmospheric Composition

In the Satellite Observations Department at KNMI we study the global and regional atmospheric composition using satellite observations of trace gases, aerosols, clouds and winds. The observations contribute to monitoring and research of Climate, Ozone, and Air Quality. The main satellite instruments used in our division are OMI, GOME, GOME2, SCIAMACHY, SEVIRI and ASCAT. We develop calibration and retrieval algorithms for these instruments, and process and distribute the satellite data to users, e.g. via TEMIS, in collaboration with international partners. To validate the satellite observations and to provide local monitoring we also operate several ground-based instruments, like the Brewer, the ozone sonde and the NO2 sonde. Our division has the Principal Investigatorship for the Dutch-Finnish instrument OMI, launched in 2004 on NASA's EOS-Aura satellite, and for the Dutch-ESA instrument TROPOMI, to be launched early in 2016 on ESA's Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite.
A thirty year time series of the ozone hole (left) and a global air pollution map of NO2 (middle). A brochure about our department (right).


2017-10-24: Antarctic Ozone Hole decreased by 20%

The Antarctic Ozone Hole that forms over Antarctica ever year during springtime is continuing to heal. Since about the year 2000 its ozone depletion has decreased by approximately 20%. Likely this is mostly due to international agreements on the protection of the ozone layer. Such are the findings of a recently published new research paper by KNMI. First signs of global recovery of the ozone layer had already been reported before.


2017-04-13: Surface reflectivity climatologies from UV to NIR determined from observations by GOME-2 and SCIA

The primary goal of this paper is to introduce two new surface reflectivity climatologies. The two databases contain the Lambertian-equivalent reflectivity (LER) of the Earth’s surface, and they are meant to support satellite retrieval of trace gases and of cloud and aerosol information. The surface LER databases are derived from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME)-2 and Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY) instruments and can be considered as improved and extended descendants of earlier surface LER climatologies based on the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS), GOME-1, and Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) instruments.


2017-04-12: A geostationary product for near-real-time identification of high ice water content environments

We developed a satellite data product for identification of atmospheric environments with a high chance of the presence of high ice water content (IWC > > 1 g/m3). This High IWC mask is based on measurements of cloud properties using the cloud physical properties (CPP) algorithm applied to the geostationary Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI).


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