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Two MODIS Aerosol Products over Ocean on the Terra and Aqua CERES SSF Datasets

Ignatov, A., P. Minnis, N. Loeb, B. Wielicki, W. F. Miller, S. Sun-Mack, D. Tanré, L. Remer, I. Laszlo, and E. Geier (2005), Two MODIS Aerosol Products over Ocean on the Terra and Aqua CERES SSF Datasets, J. Atmos. Sci., 62, 1008-1031.

Understanding the impact of aerosols on the earth’s radiation budget and the long-term climate record requires consistent measurements of aerosol properties and radiative fluxes. The Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) Science Team combines satellite-based retrievals of aerosols, clouds, and radiative fluxes into Single Scanner Footprint (SSF) datasets from the Terra and Aqua satellites. Over ocean, two aerosol products are derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) using different sampling and aerosol algorithms. The primary, or M, product is taken from the standard multispectral aerosol product developed by the MODIS aerosol group while a simpler, secondary [Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) like], or A, product is derived by the CERES Science Team using a different cloud clearing method and a single-channel aerosol algorithm. Two aerosol optical depths (AOD), ␶A1 and ␶A2, are derived from MODIS bands 1 (0.644 μm) and 6 (1.632 μm) resembling the AVHRR/3 channels 1 and 3A, respectively. On Aqua the retrievals are made in band 7 (2.119 μm) because of poor quality data from band 6. The respective Ångström exponents can be derived from the values of ␶. The A product serves as a backup for the M product. More importantly, the overlap of these aerosol products is essential for placing the 20ϩ year heritage AVHRR aerosol record in the context of more advanced aerosol sensors and algorithms such as that used for the M product.

This study documents the M and A products, highlighting their CERES SSF specifics. Based on 2 weeks of global Terra data, coincident M and A AODs are found to be strongly correlated in both bands. However, both domains in which the M and A aerosols are available, and the respective ␶/␣ statistics significantly differ because of discrepancies in sampling due to differences in cloud and sun-glint screening. In both aerosol products, correlation is observed between the retrieved aerosol parameters (␶/␣) and ambient cloud amount, with the dependence in the M product being more pronounced than in the A product.

Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)