The Use and Usability of Satellite Data for Tropospheric Research

Project Description

Section 2


2.     Executive summary

The newly observed global distributions of tropospheric species such as NO2, SO2, HCHO and BrO, obtained by observations from space platforms, mark the opening of a new era in tropospheric chemistry. Both the treatment of the data presently available, and of data from the missions planned for the near future, will add a new dimension to the field. It will bring the possibility of studying concentration distributions over large areas, and in locations and at levels in the troposphere, which were only accessible to occasional individual observations in the past; in addition the reliability and frequency of space observations will be of great help in determining the longer term changes which are taking place in the troposphere on global and regional scales.

The overall objective of the present project, TROPOSAT, is to encourage the scientific community within Europe to take advantage of the new possibilities, by demonstrating that a selected set of scientific objectives can be achieved with satellite data. This is essentially capacity building exercise. In addition the project will acquaint the agencies responsible for policy development for the European troposphere with the possible applications of satellite data for monitoring pollutants and tracing emissions on regional and global scales.

The formal aim of TROPOSAT is to explore and encourage the use of satellite data to determine distributions of trace gases, clouds and aerosol in the troposphere and so facilitate future tropospheric research and environmental monitoring on regional and global scales. This aim will be achieved through four working groups concentrating on the following topics.

  1. Development of algorithms for the retrieval of tropospheric species and parameters.
  2. Use of satellite data for understanding atmospheric processes.
  3. Synergistic use of different instrumentation and platforms for tropospheric measurements.
  4. Development of validation strategies for tropospheric satellite data products.

There will also be some work on various supporting and derived activities.

With the short time available before the end of EUROTRAC-2, much of the scientific activity within the subproject will be of a preparatory nature, but it is intended to exploit the scientific potential of the new observations as fully as possible.

Thus TROPOSAT will contribute to objectives of the EUROTRAC-2, and the activities envisaged will contribute directly to several of the tasks envisaged for the project.


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