Data products

Formaldehyde

INTRODUCTION

Long term satellite observations of tropospheric formaldehyde HCHO are essential to support air quality and chemistry-climate related studies from the regional to the global scale. Formaldehyde is an intermediate gas in almost all oxidation chains of non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), leading eventually to CO2. Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compounds (NMVOCs) are, together with NOx, CO and CH4, among the most important precursors of tropospheric O3. NMVOCs also produce secondary organic aerosols and influence the concentrations of OH, the main tropospheric oxidant. The major HCHO source in the remote atmosphere is CH4 oxidation. Over the continents, the oxidation of higher NMVOCs emitted from vegetation, fires, traffic and industrial sources results in important and localized enhancements of the HCHO levels. The seasonal and inter-annual variations of the formaldehyde distribution are principally related to temperature changes and fire events, but also to changes in anthropogenic activities. Its lifetime being of the order of a few hours, HCHO concentrations in the boundary layer can be directly related to the release of short-lived hydrocarbons, which mostly cannot be observed directly from space. Furthermore, HCHO observations provide information on the chemical oxidation processes in the atmosphere, including CO chemical production from CH4 and NMVOCs. For these reasons, HCHO satellite observations are used in combination with tropospheric chemistry transport models to constrain NMVOC emission inventories in so-called top-down inversion approaches.

USER DOCUMENTATION: ATBD

The Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD) can be found by clicking here.

PUM & SAMPLE DATA

The Product User Manual (PUM) and Sample Data Files are being updated based on a new release of the processing software and will be available for download by mid-May 2017.

After launch, preliminary product results will be provided during the Commissioning Phase and the Operational Phase.