Extending 3D near-cloud corrections from shorter to longer wavelengths

Marshak, A., K. F. Evans, T. Várnai, and G. Wen (2014), Extending 3D near-cloud corrections from shorter to longer wavelengths, J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 147, 79-85, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2014.05.022.

Satellite observations have shown a positive correlation between cloud amount and aerosol optical thickness (AOT) that can be explained by the humidification of aerosols near clouds, and/or by cloud contamination by sub-pixel size clouds and the cloud adjacency effect. The last effect may substantially increase reflected radiation in cloud-free columns, leading to overestimates in the retrieved AOT. For clear-sky areas near boundary layer clouds the main contribution to the enhancement of clear sky reflectance at shorter wavelengths comes from the radiation scattered into clear areas by clouds and then scattered to the sensor by air molecules. Because of the wavelength dependence of air molecule scattering, this process leads to a larger reflectance increase at shorter wavelengths, and can be corrected using a simple two-layer model [18]. However, correcting only for molecular scattering skews spectral properties of the retrieved AOT. Kassianov and Ovtchinnikov [9] proposed a technique that uses spectral reflectance ratios to retrieve AOT in the vicinity of clouds; they assumed that the cloud adjacency effect influences the spectral ratio between reflectances at two wavelengths less than it influences the reflectances themselves. This paper combines the two approaches: It assumes that the 3D correction for the shortest wavelength is known with some uncertainties, and then it estimates the 3D correction for longer wavelengths using a modified ratio method. The new approach is tested with 3D radiances simulated for 26 cumulus fields from Large-Eddy Simulations, supplemented with 40 aerosol profiles. The results showed that (i) for a variety of cumulus cloud scenes and aerosol profiles over ocean the 3D correction due to cloud adjacency effect can be extended from shorter to longer wavelengths and (ii) the 3D corrections for longer wavelengths are not very sensitive to unbiased random uncertainties in the 3D corrections at shorter wavelengths.

PDF of Publication: 
Download from publisher's website.
Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)