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Satellite monitoring of ammonia: A case study of the San Joaquin Valley

Abstract : Atmospheric ammonia (NH3) has recently been observed with infrared sounders from space. Here we present 1 year of detailed bidaily satellite retrievals with the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer and some retrievals of the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer over the San Joaquin Valley, California, a highly polluted agricultural production region. Several sensitivity issues are discussed related to the sounding of ammonia, in terms of degrees of freedom, averaging kernels, and altitude of maximum sensitivity and in relation to thermal contrast and concentration. We also discuss their seasonal dependence and sources of errors. We demonstrate boundary layer sensitivity of infrared sounders when there is a large thermal contrast between the surface and the bottom of the atmosphere. For the San Joaquin Valley, large thermal contrast is the case for daytime measurements in spring, summer, and autumn and for nighttime measurements in autumn and winter when a large negative thermal contrast is amplified by temperature inversion.
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Lieven Clarisse, Mark W. Shephard, Frank Dentener, Daniel Hurtmans, Karen Cady-Pereira, et al.. Satellite monitoring of ammonia: A case study of the San Joaquin Valley. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, American Geophysical Union, 2010, 115 (D13), pp.D13302. ⟨10.1029/2009JD013291⟩. ⟨hal-00459974⟩

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