Fundamental understanding of reactive nitrogen in the global upper troposphere

Reactive nitrogen is central to the influence of the upper troposphere on the global troposphere. Here we develop new and examine existing datasets to address persistent uncertainties in chemistry and sources of reactive nitrogen in the upper troposphere.


People: Nana Wei, Rebekah Horner, Robert Ryan

Funding: European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant (StG) UpTrop (851854)

ERC Award Media Coverage:

Open The World: 51 Nationalities Among the Winners of the 2019 ERC Starting Grants

£1.3 million grant for global atmosphere research

South African National Research Foundation ERC Award Press Release

Serendipitous Discoveries:

Potential Impact of Rocket Launch and Space Debris Ablation Emissions on the Atmosphere

External Collaborators: NASA ATom Science Team, TROPOMI NO2 data developers, Pandora Pandonia Network Team, Izana MAX-DOAS data providers

Data and Tools Used: NASA DC8 observations, GEOS-Chem, TROPOMI, Pandora, MAX-DOAS

New Datasets: Cloud-sliced nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the global upper troposphere derived from TROPOMI. [Link to Data]

New Software: Cloud-slicing algorithm to retrieve global upper tropospheric NO2 from TROPOMI. [Code], [Documentation]


E. A. Marais, D. J. Jacob, S. Choi, J. Joiner, M. Belmonte-Rivas, R. C. Cohen, S. Beirle, L. T. Murray, L. Schiferl, V. Shah, L. Jaeglé, Nitrogen oxides in the global upper troposphere: interpreting cloud-sliced NO2 observations from the OMI satellite instrument, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 17017-17027, 2018. [PDF]

E. A. Marais, J. F. Roberts, R. G. Ryan, H. Eskes, K. F. Boersma, S. Choi, J. Joiner, N. Abuhassan, A. Redondas, M. Grutter, A. Cede, L. Gomez, M. Navarro-Comas, New observations of upper tropospheric NO2 from TROPOMI, Atmos. Meas. Techn., 14, 2389-2408, doi:10.5194/amt-14-2389-2021, 2021. [PDF]

Disclaimer: This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 851854)