Vertical profiles of aerosol optical properties and the solar heating rate estimated by combining sky radiometer and lidar measurements
- 1Meteorological Research Institute, Japan Meteorological Agency, Tsukuba, Japan
- 2National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
Abstract. The SKYLIDAR algorithm was developed to estimate vertical profiles of aerosol optical properties from sky radiometer (SKYNET) and lidar (AD-Net) measurements. The solar heating rate was also estimated from the SKYLIDAR retrievals. The algorithm consists of two retrieval steps: (1) columnar properties are retrieved from the sky radiometer measurements and the vertically mean depolarization ratio obtained from the lidar measurements and (2) vertical profiles are retrieved from the lidar measurements and the results of the first step. The derived parameters are the vertical profiles of the size distribution, refractive index (real and imaginary parts), extinction coefficient, single-scattering albedo, and asymmetry factor. Sensitivity tests were conducted by applying the SKYLIDAR algorithm to the simulated sky radiometer and lidar data for vertical profiles of three different aerosols, continental average, transported dust, and pollution aerosols. The vertical profiles of the size distribution, extinction coefficient, and asymmetry factor were well estimated in all cases. The vertical profiles of the refractive index and single-scattering albedo of transported dust, but not those of transported pollution aerosol, were well estimated. To demonstrate the performance and validity of the SKYLIDAR algorithm, we applied the SKYLIDAR algorithm to the actual measurements at Tsukuba, Japan. The detailed vertical structures of the aerosol optical properties and solar heating rate of transported dust and smoke were investigated. Examination of the relationship between the solar heating rate and the aerosol optical properties showed that the vertical profile of the asymmetry factor played an important role in creating vertical variation in the solar heating rate. We then compared the columnar optical properties retrieved with the SKYLIDAR algorithm to those produced with the more established scheme SKYRAD.PACK, and the surface solar irradiance calculated from the SKYLIDAR retrievals was compared with pyranometer measurement. The results showed good agreements: the columnar values of the SKYLIDAR retrievals agreed with reliable SKYRAD.PACK retrievals, and the SKYLIDAR retrievals were sufficiently accurate to evaluate the surface solar irradiance.