A global network of ground-based Fourier transform spectrometers has been founded to remotely measure column abundances of CO(2), CO, CH(4), N(2)O and other molecules that absorb in the near-infrared. These measurements are directly comparable with the near-infrared total column measurements from space-based instruments. With stringent requirements on the instrumentation, acquisition procedures, data processing and calibration, the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) achieves an accuracy and precision in total column measurements that is unprecedented for remote-sensing observations (better than 0.25% for CO(2)). This has enabled carbon-cycle science investigations using the TCCON dataset, and allows the TCCON to provide a link between satellite measurements and the extensive ground-based in situ network.
© 2011 The Royal Society