Retrievals of atmospheric composition from these satellite observations crucially rely on our ability to accurately simulate the atmospheric spectra measured by these instruments. The principal tool used to simulate these observations is an atmospheric radiative transfer model, so-called because it solves the fundamental equation of radiative transfer through the atmosphere. These models require high quality spectroscopic data for all molecules absorbing and emitting in the atmosphere. In fact,
it is the distinctive spectral signature of a molecule that indicates its presence in the atmosphere, and can be used to quantify its abundance. The retrieval process itself essentially compares calculated with observed spectra to improve upon our prior knowledge of the atmospheric state vector (vertical distribution of temperature, pressure, molecular species, etc.) by minimising the residuals between observation and calculation.
Contact: Jeremy Harrison (University of Leicester)
Contact: Liang Feng (University of Edinburgh)
Contact: Anu Dudhia (University of Oxford)