Annual joint NDACC-IRWG & TCCON workshop, Bad Sulza, Germany

posted 20 May 2014, 15:08 by Bodeker Scientific
Stefanie Kremser attended the annual joint NDACC-IRWG & TCCON workshop which was held from 12 to 15 May in Bad Sulza, Germany. The local host for this workshop was the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry (MPI-BGC) in Jena, Germany. This workshop was the largest science meeting of the ground-based infrared atmospheric remote sensing community, with up to 79 people from 16 countries attending. The specialists discussed the latest developments regarding new instrumentation, measurement techniques, retrieval algorithms, and submission of resultant data to the common database of the Infrared Working Group (IRWG) of the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC) as well as the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON). Both NDACC and TCCON use high-resolution infrared measurements to measure atmospheric trace gases from the ground up to an altitude of ~100 km. The IRWG has been monitoring the atmospheric concentrations of many trace gases for more than 30 years. TCCON aims to make high precision measurements of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and has become the reference for all current and future satellite GHG observing missions. More information on the NDACC-IRWG can be found at and on TCCON is available at

The first two days of the workshop belonged to the NDACC-IRWG community with the first day focussing on site-reports from the current 22 NDACC sites operating one or more infrared Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) spectrometers. A representative from each site provided an overview of the current FTIR measurements performed at the site, their funding situation, their most recent publications and collaborations. The outcomes of the discussions which followed provided the material needed to document current calibration procedures and possible improvements, which is archived in the NDACC database. Furthermore, it was discussed whether new species such as H2CO and/or OCS should be included as a NDACC product and submitted to the database. The workshop poster session provided scientists with an opportunity to present their latest results and use of FTIR spectra. The second day was filled with presentations from different groups and their current work and projects. Several talks were given which presented the latest retrievals from atmospheric FTIR spectra for different species such as e.g. methane, water vapour, ozone and ammonia. The latest version of one of the current retrieval tools (SFIT4) was presented. SFIT4 is used to retrieve atmospheric partial/total columns and profiles of atmospheric trace gases. The error analysis in SFIT4 has been finalized and released. The community has now implemented a tool (BugZilla) to report any problems/bugs found in SFIT4 or (and that’s fairly new) in the spectroscopy (linelist) that gets used for the FTIR spectra retrievals. The community has now been encouraged to use BugZilla to report any bugs they might find.

On the third day of the workshop, members of the TCCON community joined the workshop. The presentations then focussed on NDACC and TCCON measurement comparisons. Two representatives from Bruker (the company that builds Infrared and Near Infrared spectrometers) presented the latest updates on the firmware and their latest improvements to the instrument. The fourth and last day of the meeting belonged to the TCCON community and their latest updates on the instruments and measurements at their 24 measurement sites. A new satellite mission (Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, OCO: is scheduled for launch on 1 June 2014. TCCON sites around the world will provide essential validation for this mission and the organisation, and planned procedure for taking simultaneous measurements, was discussed and described during the workshop. The workshop finished with some final remarks and discussions.