3-D aerosol-cloud radiative interaction observed in collocated MODIS and ASTER...

Wen, G., A. Marshak, B. Cahalan, L. Remer, and R. G. Kleidman (2007), 3-D aerosol-cloud radiative interaction observed in collocated MODIS and ASTER images of cumulus cloud fields, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D13204, doi:10.1029/2006JD008267.

Three-dimensional (3-D) aerosol-cloud interaction is examined by analyzing two images containing cumulus clouds in biomass-burning regions in Brazil. The research consists of two parts. The first part focuses on identifying 3-D cloud impacts on reflectances for the pixels selected for the MODIS aerosol retrieval based purely on observations. The second part of the research combines the observations with radiative transfer computations to identify key parameters in the 3-D aerosol-cloud interaction. We find that 3-D cloud-induced enhancement depends on the optical properties of nearby clouds as well as on wavelength. The enhancement is too large to be ignored. Associated bias error in one-dimensional (1-D) aerosol optical thickness retrieval ranges from 50 to 140% depending on wavelength and the optical depth of nearby clouds, as well as aerosol optical thickness. We caution the community to be prudent when applying 1-D approximations in computing solar radiation in clear regions adjacent to clouds or when using traditional retrieved aerosol optical thickness in aerosol indirect effect research.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)