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MISR Aerosol Product Attributes and Statistical Comparisons With MODIS

Kahn, R., D. L. Nelson, M. Garay, R. Levy, M. A. Bull, D. Diner, J. V. Martonchik, S. R. Paradise, E. G. Hansen, and L. Remer (2009), MISR Aerosol Product Attributes and Statistical Comparisons With MODIS, IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 47, 4095-4114, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2009.2023115.

In this paper, Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) aerosol product attributes are described, including geometry and algorithm performance flags. Actual retrieval coverage is mapped and explained in detail using representative global monthly data. Statistical comparisons are made with coincident aerosol optical depth (AOD) and Angstrom exponent (ANG) retrieval results from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument. The relationship between these results and the ones previously obtained for MISR and MODIS individually, based on comparisons with coincident ground-truth observations, is established. For the data examined, MISR and MODIS each obtain successful aerosol retrievals about 15% of the time, and coincident MISR-MODIS aerosol retrievals are obtained for about 6%–7% of the total overlap region. Cloud avoidance, glint and oblique-Sun exclusions, and other algorithm physical limitations account for these results. For both MISR and MODIS, successful retrievals are obtained for over 75% of locations where attempts are made. Where coincident AOD retrievals are obtained over ocean, the MISR-MODIS correlation coefficient is about 0.9; over land, the correlation coefficient is about 0.7. Differences are traced to specific known algorithm issues or conditions. Over-ocean ANG comparisons yield a correlation of 0.67, showing consistency in distinguishing aerosol air masses dominated by coarse-mode versus fine-mode particles. Sampling considerations imply that care must be taken when assessing monthly global aerosol direct radiative forcing and AOD trends with these products, but they can be used directly for many other applications, such as regional AOD gradient and aerosol air mass type mapping and aerosol transport model validation. Users are urged to take seriously the published product data-quality statements.

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Research Program: 
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)
Radiation Science Program (RSP)