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STAR / SMCD / EMB Aerosol Remote Sensing

Analysis of Aerosol Data

thumbnail: Aerosol Optical Depth image, world mapThis research is intended to develop a global long-term satellite climatology of aerosol properties based on a consistent combination of previous, current and future satellite retrievals. Consistent with this objective, we quantify the accuracy and limits of applicability of the NESDIS AVHRR-based aerosol dataset; quantify the extent to which it is coherent, complimentary, and/or contradictory to other selected satellite-derived aerosol datasets (e.g., MODIS). An important element of this work is a retrospective analysis of the AVHRR dataset in order to infer the three-decade-long pattern of the global distribution of aerosols, their properties, and seasonal, interannual, and decadal variations.

The research also supports NOAA's Climate Goal, which has a requirement for the observation of aerosol properties. The Climate Goal is broadly matrixed across NOAA with large research contributions from NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), as well as contributions from several operational NOAA organizations including NESDIS, and the Climate Prediction Center (CPC), which is within the National Weather Service (NWS). (Read more ...)

Single- and multi-channel algorithms

thumbnail image: aerosol optical depth scattergramPast comparisons of the various satellite climatologies of aerosol revealed their differences, and concluded that many were due to uncertainties in input radiances that are the results of differences in instrument calibration and in cloud detection, and cannot be explained by algorithm differences only. For example, it was shown that when single- and multichannel algorithms are applied to the exact same radiances the aerosol optical thickness differences are significantly reduced. This conclusion also seems to support the possibility of extending the more recent multi-channel MODIS record back in time with the AVHRR data, and thereby creating a long-term, consistent, and calibrated data record. (Read more ...)