Approaching Two Decades of MOPITT - What have we learned from satellite carbon monoxide observations?

Helen Worden, PhD
MOPITT U.S. Principal Investigator
Atmospheric Chemistry Observations & Modeling Laboratory
National Center for Atmospheric Research

Measurements Of Pollution In The Troposphere (MOPITT) on the NASA Terra spacecraft has been measuring the global atmospheric abundance of carbon monoxide (CO) since March 2000. Direct emissions of CO are mainly produced by incomplete combustion from both natural fires and anthropogenic activities and CO is also produced chemically from me-thane and volatile organic carbon (VOC) species. CO plays an important role in atmospheric chemistry and climate because it is a dominant sink for the hydroxyl radical (OH) and thus affects the abundance of methane (CH4) and ozone (O3). Anthropogenic emissions of CO have a significant indirect radiative forcing of 0.22 W/m2. Satellite measurements of carbon monoxide are used to understand how pollution is emitted and transported globally, from large scale fires to urban sources. I will present an overview of the MOPITT mission and show recent science results using MOPITT CO data, including highlights on how MOPITT da-ta are assimilated for understanding model chemistry and emissions. I will also discuss the future of satellite CO observations.