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First satellite observations of lower tropospheric ammonia and methanol

Beer, Reinhard and Shephard, Mark W. and Kulawik, Susan S. and Clough, Shepard A. and Eldering, Annmarie and Bowman, Kevin W. and Sander, Stanley P. and Fisher, Brendan M. and Payne, Vivienne H. and Luo, Mingzhao and Osterman, Gregory B. and Worden, John R. (2008) First satellite observations of lower tropospheric ammonia and methanol. Geophysical Research Letters, 35 (9). Art. No. L09801. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2008gl033642.

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The Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) on the EOS Aura satellite makes global measurements of infrared radiances which are used to derive profiles of species such as O_3, CO, H_2O, HDO and CH_4 as routine standard products. In addition, TES has a variety of special modes that provide denser spatial mapping over a limited geographical area. A continuous‐coverage mode (called “transect”, about 460 km long) has now been used to detect additional molecules indicative of regional air pollution. On 10 July 2007 at about 05:37 UTC (13:24 LMST) TES conducted such a transect observation over the Beijing area in northeast China. Examination of the residual spectral radiances following the retrieval of the TES standard products revealed surprisingly strong features attributable to enhanced concentrations of ammonia (NH3) and methanol (CH_3OH), well above the normal background levels. This is the first time that these molecules have been detected in space‐based nadir viewing measurements that penetrate into the lower atmosphere.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Eldering, Annmarie0000-0003-1080-9922
Bowman, Kevin W.0000-0002-8659-1117
Sander, Stanley P.0000-0003-1424-3620
Worden, John R.0000-0003-0257-9549
Additional Information:© 2008 American Geophysical Union. Received 14 February 2008; revised 28 March 2008; accepted 1 April 2008; published 1 May 2008. This work was carried out, in part, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We also wish to thank G. Guerova (U. Wollongong) and D. Millet (Harvard U.) for kindly providing the profiles of ammonia and methanol on which these analyses rest and to the two reviewers for their helpful suggestions. All TES data are available at
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:tropospheric chemistry
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181127-154248588
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Official Citation:Beer, R., et al. (2008), First satellite observations of lower tropospheric ammonia and methanol, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L09801, doi: 10.1029/2008GL033642
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:91244
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Nov 2018 00:04
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 03:39

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