How bias correction goes wrong: measurement of XCO2 affected by erroneous...

Kiel, M., C. O'Dell, B. Fisher, A. Eldering, R. Nassar, C. G. MacDonald, and P. Wennberg (2019), How bias correction goes wrong: measurement of XCO2 affected by erroneous surface pressure estimates, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 12, 2241-2259, doi:10.5194/amt-12-2241-2019.

All measurements of XCO2 from space have systematic errors. To reduce a large fraction of these errors, a bias correction is applied to XCO2 retrieved from GOSAT and OCO-2 spectra using the ACOS retrieval algorithm. The bias correction uses, among other parameters, the surface pressure difference between the retrieval and the meteorological reanalysis. Relative errors in the surface pressure estimates, however, propagate nearly 1 : 1 into relative errors in biascorrected XCO2 . For OCO-2, small errors in the knowledge of the pointing of the observatory (up to ∼ 130 arcsec) introduce a bias in XCO2 in regions with rough topography. Erroneous surface pressure estimates are also caused by a coding error in ACOS version 8, sampling meteorological analyses at wrong times (up to 3 h after the overpass time). Here, we derive new geolocations for OCO-2’s eight footprints and show how using improved knowledge of surface pressure estimates in the bias correction reduces errors in OCO-2’s v9 XCO2 data.

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Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2)