More than 20 years of satellite NO2 observations!

More than 20 years of Tropospheric NO2 satellite observations that we have now thanks to the great investments of Europe and all scientists. An example with the month of March GOME on ERS-2 (from the European Space Agency ESA) in 1998 & TROPOMI on Sentinel 5-Precursor (from Copernicus) in 2018. Maps are from TEMIS website.

Analyses of the trends is possible but overall a challenging and sensitive task. Over 20 years, very different sensor techniques, instrument specificities & degradations, variable pixel sizes, cloud detection possibilities etc… A lot of works to harmonise these data!


More information?

  • TEMIS website here
  • The European Copernicus program here
  • The European Space Agency here
  • NO2 – Nitrogen Dioxide WebPage here

Just another Day on Aerosol Earth by NASA – A well-done picture highlighting the very diverse aerosol types and their heterogeneous distributions!

Just Another Day on Aerosol Earth
NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using GEOS data from the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (Credit NASA,


Have you seen this very recent visualisation aerosol mapping, released by NASA and made by Joshua Stevens? This visualisation very nicely highlights the different aerosol types and their complex distribution on Earth for a single day, 23rd August 2018, based on the GEOS FP model output. Some satellite observations were assimilated to constrain the modelling of atmospheric transport and physical processes.

Atmospheric aerosol are particles suspended in the air. Their sources are very mixed. Aerosol can be man-made or natural: e.g. smoke, desert dust, sea spray, nitrates and sulfates. The aerosol effects on the sunlight modify the shortwave radiation field in the atmosphere. This directly impacts the climate and the satellite observations devoted to ocean surface, land surface, vegetation, and atmospheric gases. Furthermore, heavy load of aerosols affects our air quality.

In spite of many progresses during the last 10-20 years, aerosol observations from space-borne instruments remain incredibly complex. One of the main reasons is their heterogeneity: aerosols are everywhere, but with very variable quantities  spatially (horizontally and vertically!), and temporally. And, as highlighted by this NASA picture, aerosol types are also very heterogeneous! Retrieving all these parameters from single satellite measurements, without ambiguity with respect to surface characteristics and clouds, is the difficult task of the scientists working with atmospheric satellite measurements. Many works to continue to do…


More information

  • NASA WebPage “Just another Day on Aerosol Earth” here
  • Aerosol WebPage here

A new paper submitted – Minimizing aerosol effects on the OMI tropospheric NO2 retrieval – An improved use of the 477 nm O2-O2 band and an estimation of the aerosol correction uncertainty

We recently submitted a new paper in the Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT) journal. This work relies on the activities achieved during the last months with my colleagues of the Geoscience and Remote Sensing (GRS) department of TU Delft and KNMI: Dr. J. Pepijn Veefkind, Dr. Johan de Haan, Dr. Piet Stammess, and Prof. Dr. Pieternel  F. Levelt.

This paper is based on the last developments we published during 2016, 2017, and 2018. During these years, not only the OMI cloud algorithm was improved (Veefkind et al., 2016), but also an OMI aerosol layer height (and optical thickness) neural network algorithm was developed (Chimot et al., 2017, 2018). This time, we directly evaluate the impacts of these developments to correct of aerosol absorption and scattering effects in the visible spectral range in view of retrieving tropospheric NO2, an important trace gas affecting air quality in urban and industrialised areas.

Gotten curious? See more information here.

I greatly thank my co-authors from the Netherlands for this very interesting work! This paper closes the loop of my whole research work achieved during the last 4 years with the Geoscience and Remote Sensing (GRS) department of TU Delft and KNMI.

Statistics of relative tropospheric NO2 VCD changes in (%) in 2006-2007, due to differences between the different explicit aerosol corrections and the implicit aerosol correction based on OMCLDO2-New: (a), and (b): China summertime (June-July-August), (c), and (d): China wintertime (December-January-February), (e), and (f): South America biomass burning season (August-September).

Sentinel-3 B launch in live from EUMETSAT

We attended the launch of the second satellite platform of the Sentinel-3 mission. An event in live was organised at EUMETSAT, and what a blast!

Check the pictures here.

As part of the Copernicus programme, Sentinel-3 is a very important mission for ocean colour, sea and land surface, fire, atmosphere and climate purposes. With the two platforms, Sentinel-3 A and B, an optimal global coverage will be now obtained. The next observations and related products are promising!

More information?

  • Check the diverse pictures of this fantastic launch via the Twitter accounts of EUMETSAT and ESA
  • Sentinel-3 satellite mission here
  • The current Sentinel-3 services provided by EUMETSAT here

And watch below the movie from EUMETSAT in live in the Sentinel-3 control centre “Sentinel-3: Operating satellites” with Hillary Wilson, EUMETSAT’s Sentinel-3 manager, and Kevin Marston, EUMETSAT’s System operation manager.

A new paper published on OMI aerosol layer height retrieval from the O2-O2 visible band and neural networks – Comparison with CALIOP aerosol spatial patterns

I am very glad to have a new paper recently published in the Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT) journal. This paper relies on a research work achieved during the last months with my colleagues of the Geoscience and Remote Sensing (GRS) department of TU Delft and KNMI: Dr. J. Pepijn Veefkind, Dr. Tim Vlemmix, and Prof. Dr. Pieternel  F. Levelt.

This paper is based on the work of 2017, in which a neural network algorithm was developed for retrieving aerosol layer height (ALH) from the OMI O2-O2 visible measurements. This time, we directly compare our retrievals with CALIOP aerosol observations and evaluate the spatial patterns on several remarkable case studies including urban pollution, biomass burning events and a Saharan dust outbreak!

Gotten curious? See more information here.

I greatly thank my co-authors from the Netherlands for this very interesting work!

Research / Science Homepage – Already 1 year! Thanks!

More than 1 year ago, I decided to share a bit more my on-going scientific activities. At that time, I was mostly working on OMI, aerosol layer height and tropospheric NO2 retrievals with my great colleagues at the Geoscience and Remote Sensing department of TU Delft. Now, I am at EUMETSAT working on Sentinel-3.

In a world that is continuously evolving, and where it is very difficult to find adequate information about our environment and used observations, my only hope was to share some news about my  topics of interest (trace gases, aerosol, air quality, climate), get more reliable information and increase (if possible) my network. I must admit that I was initially a bit skeptical.

But the numbers that I have now somehow surprise me: 3091 visits last year from some 1147 visitors. Since January, already 1127 views from 550 visitors! This may look very little for some people. But for me, this is quite significant! I have no idea whether people really got interest in my work and/or website, or just found a bit by chance some of the webpages.

What is for sure not a coincidence: 96 people connected with me via Twitter, most of them / you that I don’t really know, and regularly exchanging scientific news with me. And about 56 posts posted alone or with some friends!

I don’t know who you are, and whether you found my HomePage by chance. But for all the scientific news and exciting exchanges that I have, thank you! In spite of my restricted time, I will keep updating this Homepage and my Twitter account on a more or less regular basis!

The Earth observation science journey, using satellites, continues!

Towards new horizons!



Recent findings from OMI Aerosol Layer Height Neural Network at EGU 2018 by GRS – TU Delft and KNMI

Our research works achieved with my colleagues from Geoscience & Remote Sensing (GRS) – TU Delft, and KNMI, before my leaving, will be presented via a poster at EGU 2018. In particular, recent findings and the last publication on the retrieval of aerosol layer height (ALH) from the OMI 477 nm O2-O2 band and using the developed neural network algorithm will be shown

Don’t miss the poster presentation by Prof. Dr. Pieternel Levelt on Monday 09.04 17:30 – 19:00 in Hall X5 at board number X5.170!

Recent results of OMI Aerosol Layer Height Retrieval over East China by Chimot et al. (2018) (just accepted for publication in AMT).

More information?

  • Abstract EGU2018 “Aerosol layer height from OMI and neural network – Evaluation and possibility of a 13-year time series?” here
  • Our recent papers published on this topic here
  • My former research activities performed with GRS-TU Delft and KNMI here
  • Aerosol WebPage here