5.2 Retrieving above-cloud absorbing aerosol optical depth and the optical and microphysical properties of underlying marine stratocumulus clouds simultaneously using multiple MODIS spectral channels

Wednesday, 9 July 2014: 8:45 AM
Essex North (Westin Copley Place)
Kerry Meyer, GSFC, Greenbelt, MD; and S. Platnick and Z. Zhang

Clouds, aerosols, and their interactions are widely considered to be key uncertainty components in our current understanding of the Earth's atmosphere and radiation budget. The work presented here is focused on the quasi-permanent marine boundary layer (MBL) clouds over the southeastern Atlantic Ocean, which underlie a near-persistent smoke layer produced from extensive biomass burning throughout the southern African savanna during austral winter. The absorption of the above-cloud smoke layer, which increases with decreasing wavelength, can introduce biases into the standard MODIS cloud optical and microphysical property retrievals of the underlying MBL clouds. This effect is more pronounced in the cloud optical thickness retrievals, which over ocean are derived from the wavelength channel centered near 0.86 µm (effective particle size retrievals are derived from the short and mid-wave IR channels at 1.6, 2.1, and 3.7 µm). Here, a new method is introduced to simultaneously retrieve the above-cloud smoke aerosol optical depth (AOD) and the unbiased cloud optical thickness (COT) and effective radius (CER) using multiple MODIS spectral channels in the visible and near- and shortwave-infrared. Retrieval results and statistics are shown, as are comparisons with other A-Train sensors.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner