2011-09-20: Validation of Operational Ozone Profiles from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument

It is with pleasure that I announce the publication on September 20th, 2011 of our paper “Validation of operational ozone profiles from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument” in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres. This paper describes the operational OMI ozone profile retrieval algorithm in ample detail, and presents the results of validation against a multitude of reference data sources, including cross-platform validation with EOS Aura instruments.
In this paper we present the validation results of the operational vertical ozone profiles retrieved from the nadir observations by the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) aboard the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS) Aura platform. The operational ozone profile retrieval algorithm was developed at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and the OMI mission data has been processed and made publicly available. Advantages of these nadir sounded ozone profiles are the excellent spatial resolution at nadir and daily global coverage while the vertical resolution is limited to 6-7 km. Comparisons with well-validated ozone profile recordings by the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) and the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES), both aboard the NASA EOS-Aura platform, provide an excellent opportunity for validation because of the large amount of collocations with OMI due to the instruments significant geographical overlap. In addition, comparisons with collocated ozone profiles from the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE-II), the Halogen Occultation Experiment (HALOE), the Global Ozone Monitoring by the Occultation of Stars (GOMOS) and the Optical Spectrograph and Infrared Imager System (OSIRIS) satellite instruments and balloon-borne electrochemical concentration cell (ECC) ozonesondes are presented. OMI stratospheric ozone profiles are found to agree within 20% with global correlative data except for both the polar regions during local spring. For ozone in the troposphere OMI shows a systematic positive bias versus the correlative data sets of order 60% in the tropics and 30% at mid-latitude regions. The largest source of error of error in the tropospheric ozone profile is the fit to spectral stray light in the operational algorithm.

The complete citation is: Kroon, M., J. F. de Haan, J. P. Veefkind, L. Froidevaux, R. Wang, R. Kivi, and J. J. Hakkarainen (2011), Validation of operational ozone profiles from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D18305, doi:10.1029/2010JD015100.

The paper can be found here.

This paper was written in close collaboration with co-authors originating from the EOS Aura Science Team. I have very much enjoyed putting together this paper by means of a fantastic OMI-MLS-TES-GOMOS-OSIRIS and Dutch-American-Finnish collaboration, and for this I wish to wholeheartedly thank my co-authors. There is much scientific insight to be gained with the three-dimensional information with daily global coverage, as provided by the OMI instrument, and I hope that this paper will serve as a trustworthy starting point for potential data users to start exploring and do science with our data.

The work on this paper started back in 2008, and some of the first people to be involved were Derek Cunnold and Ray Wang of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Back then, Derek politely showed me their first and rather convincing results, which forced us to make major algorithmic improvements. Sadly, Derek has passed away since, and I know for sure he would have loved to work with the data quality that we now have managed to achieve. Therefore, we dedicate this work to the memory of Derek Martin Cunnold, who devoted his scientific career to the understanding of the dynamics and chemistry of atmospheric ozone.