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Technical Note: Latitude-time variations of atmospheric column-average dry air mole fractions of CO_2, CH_4 and N_2O

Saito, R. and Patra, P. K. and Deutscher, N. and Wunch, D. and Ishijima, K. and Sherlock, V. and Blumenstock, T. and Dohe, S. and Griffith, D. and Hase, F. and Heikkinen, P. and Kyrö, E. and Macatangay, R. and Mendonca, J. and Messerschmidt, J. and Morino, I. and Notholt, J. and Rettinger, M. and Strong, K. and Sussmann, R. and Warneke, T. (2012) Technical Note: Latitude-time variations of atmospheric column-average dry air mole fractions of CO_2, CH_4 and N_2O. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 12 (16). pp. 7767-7777. ISSN 1680-7316.

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We present a comparison of an atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM)-based chemistry-transport model (ACTM) simulation with total column measurements of CO_2, CH_4 and N_2O from the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON). The model is able to capture observed trends, seasonal cycles and inter hemispheric gradients at most sampled locations for all three species. The model-observation agreements are best for CO_2, because the simulation uses fossil fuel inventories and an inverse model estimate of non-fossil fuel fluxes. The ACTM captures much of the observed seasonal variability in CO_2 and N_2O total columns (~81 % variance, R>0.9 between ACTM and TCCON for 19 out of 22 cases). These results suggest that the transport processes in troposphere and stratosphere are well represented in ACTM. Thus the poor correlation between simulated and observed CH4 total columns, particularly at tropical and extra-tropical sites, have been attributed to the uncertainties in surface emissions and loss by hydroxyl radicals. While the upward-looking total column measurements of CO_2 contains surface flux signals at various spatial and temporal scales, the N_2O measurements are strongly affected by the concentration variations in the upper troposphere and stratosphere.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Patra, P. K.0000-0001-5700-9389
Wunch, D.0000-0002-4924-0377
Warneke, T.0000-0001-5185-3415
Additional Information:© 2012 Author(s). This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Published by Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union. Received: 24 January 2012 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 22 February 2012. Revised: 17 August 2012 – Accepted: 20 August 2012 – Published: 28 August 2012. The ACTM model results will be made available freely to the scientific and policymaking communities upon request. This work is partly supported by JSPS/MEXT KAKENHI-A (grant number 22241008), and Asia Pacific Network (APN). We thank Paul Wennberg for useful discussions. US funding for TCCON comes from NASA’s Terrestrial Ecology Program, grant number NNX11AG01G, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory Program, the Atmospheric CO_2 Observations from Space (ACOS) Program and the DOE/ARM Program. The Darwin TCCON site was built at Caltech with funding from the OCO project, and is operated by the University of Wollongong, with travel funds for maintenance and equipment costs funded by the OCO-2 project. We acknowledge funding to support Darwin and Wollongong from the Australian Research Council, Projects LE0668470, DP0879468, DP110103118 and LP0562346. Lauder TCCON measurements are funded by New Zealand Foundation of Research Science and Technology contracts C01X0204 and CO1X0406. We acknowledge financial support of the Bialystok and Orléans TCCON sites from the Senate of Bremen and EU projects IMECC, GEOMON and InGOS as well as maintenance and logistical work provided by AeroMeteo Service (Bialystok) and the RAMCES team at LSCE (Gif-sur-Yvette, France) and additional operational funding from the NIES GOSAT project. The Garmisch TCCON team acknowledges funding by the EC-INGOS project. Measurements at Eureka were made by the Canadian Network for Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (CANDAC) with additional support from the Canadian Space Agency. Complete acknowledgment text for all sites can be found on the TCCON website (
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)22241008
Asia Pacific Network (APN)UNSPECIFIED
Orbiting Carbon Observatory ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Atmospheric CO2 Observations from Space (ACOS) ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)UNSPECIFIED
Australian Research Council (ARC)LE0668470
Australian Research Council (ARC)DP0879468
Australian Research Council (ARC)DP110103118
Australian Research Council (ARC)LP0562346
New Zealand Foundation of Research Science and TechnologyC01X0204
New Zealand Foundation of Research Science and TechnologyCO1X0406
National Institute for Environmental Studies (Japan)UNSPECIFIED
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:16
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121005-120449699
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Saito, R., Patra, P. K., Deutscher, N., Wunch, D., Ishijima, K., Sherlock, V., Blumenstock, T., Dohe, S., Griffith, D., Hase, F., Heikkinen, P., Kyrö, E., Macatangay, R., Mendonca, J., Messerschmidt, J., Morino, I., Notholt, J., Rettinger, M., Strong, K., Sussmann, R., and Warneke, T.: Technical Note: Latitude-time variations of atmospheric column-average dry air mole fractions of CO2, CH4 and N2O, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 7767-7777, doi:10.5194/acp-12-7767-2012, 2012
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34715
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Oct 2012 18:17
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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