Effects of clouds on the UV Absorbing Aerosol Index from TROPOMI

Kooreman, Maurits L.; Stammes, Piet; Trees, Victor; Sneep, Maarten; Tilstra, L. Gijsbert; de Graaf, Martin; Stein Zweers, Deborah C.; Wang, Ping; Tuinder, Olaf N. E.; Veefkind, J. Pepijn

The ultraviolet (UV) Absorbing Aerosol Index (AAI) is widely used as an indicator for the presence of absorbing aerosols in the atmosphere. Here we consider the TROPOMI AAI based on the 340 inline-formulanm/380 inline-formulanm wavelength pair. We investigate the effects of clouds on the AAI observed at small and large scales. The large-scale effects are studied using an aggregate of TROPOMI measurements over an area mostly devoid of absorbing aerosols (Pacific Ocean). The study reveals that several structural features can be distinguished in the AAI, such as the cloud bow, viewing zenith angle dependence, sunglint, and a previously unexplained increase in AAI values at extreme viewing and solar geometries. We explain these features in terms of the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) of the scene in combination with the different ratios of diffuse and direct illumination of the surface at 340 and 380 inline-formulanm. To reduce the dependency on the BRDF and homogenize the AAI distribution across the orbit, we present three different AAI retrieval models: the traditional Lambertian scene model (LSM), a Lambertian cloud model (LCM), and a scattering cloud model (SCM). We perform a model study to assess the propagation of errors in auxiliary databases used in the cloud models. The three models are then applied to the same low-aerosol region. Results show that using the LCM and SCM gives on average a higher AAI than the LSM. Additionally, a more homogeneous distribution is retrieved across the orbit. At the small scale, related to the high spatial resolution of TROPOMI, strong local increases and decreases in AAI are observed in the presence of clouds. The BRDF effect presented here is a first step – more research is needed to explain the small-scale cloud effects on the AAI.



Kooreman, Maurits L. / Stammes, Piet / Trees, Victor / et al: Effects of clouds on the UV Absorbing Aerosol Index from TROPOMI. 2020. Copernicus Publications.


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