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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 38, Iss. 36 — Dec. 20, 1999
  • pp: 7325–7341

Aerosol retrievals over the ocean by use of channels 1 and 2 AVHRR data: sensitivity analysis and preliminary results

Michael I. Mishchenko, Igor V. Geogdzhayev, Brian Cairns, William B. Rossow, and Andrew A. Lacis  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 38, Issue 36, pp. 7325-7341 (1999)

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We outline the methodology of interpreting channels 1 and 2 Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) radiance data over the oceans and describe a detailed analysis of the sensitivity of monthly averages of retrieved aerosol parameters to the assumptions made in different retrieval algorithms. The analysis is based on using real AVHRR data and exploiting accurate numerical techniques for computing single and multiple scattering and spectral absorption of light in the vertically inhomogeneous atmosphere–ocean system. We show that two-channel algorithms can be expected to provide significantly more accurate and less biased retrievals of the aerosol optical thickness than one-channel algorithms and that imperfect cloud screening and calibration uncertainties are by far the largest sources of errors in the retrieved aerosol parameters. Both underestimating and overestimating aerosol absorption as well as the potentially strong variability of the real part of the aerosol refractive index may lead to regional and/or seasonal biases in optical-thickness retrievals. The Ångström exponent appears to be the aerosol size characteristic that is least sensitive to the choice of aerosol model and should be retrieved along with optical thickness as the second aerosol parameter.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1100) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Aerosol detection
(010.1110) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Aerosols
(010.1310) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric scattering
(010.7030) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Troposphere

Original Manuscript: May 24, 1999
Revised Manuscript: September 10, 1999
Published: December 20, 1999

Michael I. Mishchenko, Igor V. Geogdzhayev, Brian Cairns, William B. Rossow, and Andrew A. Lacis, "Aerosol retrievals over the ocean by use of channels 1 and 2 AVHRR data: sensitivity analysis and preliminary results," Appl. Opt. 38, 7325-7341 (1999)

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