Assimilation of trace gas retrievals obtained from satellite (SCIAMACHY), aircraft and ground observations into a regional scale air quality model (CMAQ-DDM/3D)
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A major opportunity for using satellite observations of tropospheric chemical concentrations is to improve our scientific understanding of atmospheric processes by integrated analysis of satellite, aircraft, and ground-based observations with global and regional scale models. One endpoint of such efforts is to reduce modeling biases and uncertainties. The idea of coupling these observations with a regional scale air quality model was the starting point of this research. The overall objective of this research was to improve the NOₓ emission inventories by integrating observations from different platforms and regional air quality modeling. Specific objectives were: 1) Comparison of satellite NO₂ retrievals with simulated NO₂ by the regional air quality model. Comparison of simulated tropospheric gas concentrations simulated by the regional air quality model, with aircraft and ground-based observations; 3) Assessment of the uncertainties in comparing satellite NO₂ retrievals with NOₓ emissions estimates and model simulations; 4) Identification of biases in emission inventories by data assimilation of satellite NO₂ retrievals, and ground-based NO, NO₂ and O₃ observations with an iterative inverse method using the regional air quality model coupled with sensitivity calculations; 5) Improvement of our understanding of NOₓ emissions, and the interaction between regional and global air pollution by an integrated analysis of satellite NO₂ retrievals with the regional air quality model. Along with these objectives, a lightning NOₓ emission inventory was prepared for two months of summer 2004 to account for a significant upper level NOₓ source. Spatially-resolved weekly NO₂ variations from satellite retrievals were compared with estimated NOₓ emissions for different region types. Data assimilation of satellite NO₂ retrievals, and ground-based NO, NO₂ and O₃ observations were performed to evaluate the NOₓ emission inventory. This research contributes to a better understanding of the use of satellite NO₂ retrievals in air quality modeling, and improvements in the NOₓ emission inventories by correcting some of the inconsistencies that were found in the inventories. Therefore, it may provide groups that develop emissions estimates guidance on areas for improvement. In addition, this research indicates the weaknesses and the strengths of the satellite NO₂ retrievals and offers suggestions to improve the quality of the retrievals for further use in the tropospheric air pollution research.