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Adaptive Baseline Finder, a statistical data selection strategy to identify atmospheric CO2 baseline levels and its application to European elevated mountain stations

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Yuan Ye, Ries Ludwig, Petermeier Hannes, Steinbacher Martin, Gómez-Peláez Angel J., Leuenberger Markus C., Schumacher Marcus, Trickl Thomas, Couret Cedric, Meinhardt Frank, Menzel Annette,
Project ICOS-CH Phase 2
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions
Page(s) 1 - 27
Title of proceedings Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions
DOI 10.5194/amt-2017-316

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Critical data selection is essential for determining representative baseline levels of atmospheric trace gas measurements even at remote measuring sites. Different data selection techniques have been used around the world which could potentially lead to bias when comparing data from different stations. This paper presents a novel statistical data selection method based on CO 2 diurnal pattern occurring typically at high elevated mountain stations. Its capability and applicability was studied for atmospheric measuring records of CO 2 from 2010 to 2016 at six Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) stations in Europe, namely Zugspitze-Schneefernerhaus (Germany), Sonnblick (Austria), Jungfraujoch (Switzerland), Izaña (Spain), Schauinsland (Germany) and Hohenpeissenberg (Germany). Three other frequently applied statistical data selection methods were implemented for comparison. Among all selection routines, the new method named Adaptive Baseline Finder (ABF) resulted in lower selection percentages with lower maxima during winter and higher minima during summer in the selected data. To investigate long-term trend and seasonality, seasonal decomposition technique STL was applied. Compared with the unselected data, mean annual growth rates of all selected data sets were not significantly different except for Schauinsland. However, clear differences were found in the annual amplitudes as well as for the seasonal time structure. Based on correlation analysis, results by ABF selection showed a better representation of the lower free tropospheric conditions.