Articles | Volume 12, issue 9
Research article
23 Sep 2019
Research article |  | 23 Sep 2019

The impact of neglecting ice phase on cloud optical depth retrievals from AERONET cloud mode observations

Jonathan K. P. Shonk, Jui-Yuan Christine Chiu, Alexander Marshak, David M. Giles, Chiung-Huei Huang, Gerald G. Mace, Sally Benson, Ilya Slutsker, and Brent N. Holben


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Short summary
Retrievals of cloud optical depth made using AERONET radiometers in “cloud mode” rely on the assumption that all cloud is liquid. The presence of ice cloud therefore introduces errors in the retrieved optical depth, which can be over 25 in optically thick ice clouds. However, such clouds are not frequent and the long-term mean optical depth error is about 3 for a sample of real clouds. A correction equation could improve the retrieval further, although this would require extra instrumentation.