Aerosol direct radiative effect over clouds from a synergy of Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) reflectances

de Graaf, Martin; Tilstra, L. Gijsbert; Stammes, Piet

The retrieval of geophysical parameters is increasingly dependent on synergistic use of satellite instruments. More sophisticated parameters can be retrieved and the accuracy of retrievals can be increased when more information is combined. In this paper, a synergistic application of Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), on the Aura platform, and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), on the Aqua platform, Level 1B reflectances is described, enabling the retrieval of the aerosol direct radiative effect (DRE) over clouds using the differential aerosol absorption (DAA) technique. This technique was first developed for reflectances from the SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY (SCIAMACHY) on the Environmental Satellite (Envisat), which had the unique capability of measuring contiguous radiances from the ultraviolet (UV) at 240 to 1750 nm in the shortwave-infrared (SWIR), at a moderate spectral resolution of 0.2 to 1.5 nm. However, the spatial resolution and global coverage of SCIAMACHY was limited, and Envisat stopped delivering data in 2012. In order to continue the DRE data retrieval, reflectances from OMI and MODIS, flying in formation, were combined from the UV to the SWIR. This resulted in reflectances at a limited but sufficient spectral resolution, available at the OMI pixel grid, which have a much higher spatial resolution and coverage than SCIAMACHY. The combined reflectance spectra allow the retrieval of cloud microphysical parameters in the SWIR, and the subsequent retrieval of aerosol DRE over cloud scenes using the DAA technique. For liquid cloud scenes in the south-east Atlantic region with cloud fraction (CF) >0.3, the area-averaged instantaneous aerosol DRE over clouds in June to August 2006 was 25 Wm−2 with a standard deviation of 30 Wm−2. The maximum area-averaged instantaneous DRE from OMI–MODIS in August 2006 was 75.6±13 Wm−2. The new aerosol DRE over-cloud dataset from OMI–MODIS is compared to the SCIAMACHY dataset for the period 2006 to 2009, showing a very high correlation. The OMI–MODIS DRE dataset over the Atlantic Ocean is highly correlated to above-cloud AOT measurements from OMI and MODIS. It is related to AOT measurements over Ascension Island in 2016, showing the transport of smoke all the way from its source region in Africa over the Atlantic to Ascension and beyond.

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de Graaf, Martin / Tilstra, L. Gijsbert / Stammes, Piet: Aerosol direct radiative effect over clouds from a synergy of Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) reflectances. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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