Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amtd-5-2795-2012
https://doi.org/10.5194/amtd-5-2795-2012
12 Apr 2012
 | 12 Apr 2012
Status: this preprint was under review for the journal AMT. A revision for further review has not been submitted.

Implications of satellite swath width on global aerosol optical thickness statistics

P. R. Colarco, L. A. Remer, R. A. Kahn, R. C. Levy, and E. J. Welton

Abstract. We assess the impact of swath width on the statistics of aerosol optical thickness (AOT) retrieved by satellite, as inferred from observations made by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Using collocated AERONET sun photometer observations we develop a correction to the MODIS data to account for calibration and algorithmic view angle dependency in the retrieved AOT. We sub-sample and correct the AOT data from the MODIS Aqua instrument along several candidate swaths of various widths for the years 2003–2011. We find that over ocean the global, annual mean AOT is within ± 0.01 of the full swath AOT for all of our sub-samples. Over land, however, most of our sub-samples are outside of this criterion range in the global, annual mean. Moreover, at smaller spatial and temporal scales we find wide deviation in the sub-sample AOT relative to the full swath over both land and ocean. In all, the sub-sample AOT is within ± 0.01 of the full swath value less than 25% of the time over land, and less than 50% of the time over ocean (less than 35% for all but the widest of our sub-sample swaths). These results suggest that future aerosol satellite missions having only narrow swath views may not sample the true AOT distribution sufficiently to reduce significantly the uncertainty in aerosol direct forcing of climate.

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P. R. Colarco, L. A. Remer, R. A. Kahn, R. C. Levy, and E. J. Welton
 
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Status: closed (peer review stopped)
Status: closed (peer review stopped)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
P. R. Colarco, L. A. Remer, R. A. Kahn, R. C. Levy, and E. J. Welton
P. R. Colarco, L. A. Remer, R. A. Kahn, R. C. Levy, and E. J. Welton

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