Ground-based FTIR measurements of volatile organic compounds

Important data for model and satellite validation

The global emission budget of many volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as needed in chemistry-transport models (CTM), is still very uncertain despite their great impact on Earth’s environment and human health. Recently, satellite measurements of VOCs have been performed (Razavi et al., 2011; González Abad et al., 2009), improving the current knowledge of these species on a global scale. However, such new satellite data suffer from the sparsity of available data for their validation. Either balloon or aircraft campaigns are used which do not provide a good temporal nor spatial coverage, or in situ measurements which are useful for model validation but not adapted for the satellite data, that have usually a poor sensitivity at the ground. Network ground-based FTIR measurements provide long time-series and total column data of VOCs and are therefore very good candidates for supporting the evaluation of both satellite and model data. We summarize in this letter the previous exploitation of ground-based FTIR VOCs measurements, focusing on the ones that have been used for satellite and/or model data comparisons, demonstrating their usefulness.

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Le relief à Cilaos, sur l'île de La Réunion, by Jean-Marc Astesana from Voisins le Bretonneux, France. Wikimedia Commons.
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