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A method to retrieve super-thin cloud optical depth over ocean background with...

The core information for this publication's citation.: 
Sun, W., R. R. Baize, G. Videen, Y. Hu, and Q. Fu (2015), A method to retrieve super-thin cloud optical depth over ocean background with polarized sunlight, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 11909-11918, doi:10.5194/acp-15-11909-2015.

In this work, an algorithm that uses the polarization angle of the backscattered solar radiation to detect clouds with optical depth (OD) < ∼ 0.3 is further developed. We find that at viewing angles within ± ∼ 8◦ around the backscattering direction, the p-polarized intensity that is parallel to the meridian plane of reflected light from the surface is sensitive to, and nearly linearly related to, the optical depth of super-thin clouds. Moreover, our sensitivity study suggests that the p-polarized intensity at these viewing angles is not sensitive to the ocean surface conditions. Using this property of p-polarized intensity, super-thin clouds’ optical depth can be retrieved.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)