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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Short summary
Due to fast industrialization and development, China has been experiencing haze pollution episodes with both high frequencies and severity over the last three decades. This study improve the accuracy and data coverage of measured aerosol from satellites, which help quantify, characterize and understand the impact of the haze phenomena over the entire East Asia region.
Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-450
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-450

  03 Dec 2020

03 Dec 2020

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

A Dark Target research aerosol algorithm for MODIS observations over eastern China: Increasing coverage while maintaining accuracy at high aerosol loading

Yingxi R. Shi1,4, Robert C. Levy1, Leiku Yang3, Lorraine A. Remer4, Shana Mattoo1,2, and Oleg Dubovik5 Yingxi R. Shi et al.
  • 1NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 2SSAI, Lanham, MD, USA

  • 3School of Surveying and Land Information Engineering, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo 454003, China
  • 4UMBC/JCET, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • 5Univeristy of Lille, Lille, France

Abstract. Satellite aerosol products such as the Dark Target (DT) produced from the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), are useful for monitoring the progress of air pollution. Unfortunately, the DT often fails to retrieve during the heaviest aerosol events as well as the more moderate events in winter. Some literatures attribute this lack of retrieval to cloud mask. However, we found this lack of retrieval is mainly traced to thresholds used for masking of inland water and snow. Modifications to these two masks greatly increase the coverage of retrievals overall (50 %) and double the retrievals of aerosol optical depth at 0.55 µm (AOD) greater than 1.0. The extra high AOD retrievals tend to be biased when compared with ground-based sunphotometer (AERONET). Reducing bias in new retrievals requires two additional steps. One is an update to the assumed aerosol optical properties (aerosol model) – the haze in this region is both less absorbing and lower in altitude than what is assumed in the global algorithm. The second is accounting for the scale height of the aerosol, specifically that the heavy aerosol events in the region are much closer to the surface than what is assumed by the global DT algorithm. The resulting combination of modified masking thresholds, new aerosol model, and lower aerosol layer scale height was applied to three months of MODIS observations (Jan–March 2013) over eastern China. When compared with AERONET, 70 % of the research algorithm retrievals fall within ±(0.08 + 0.17 × AOD). We also find that the research algorithm is able to identify additional pollution events that a triad of AERONET instruments surrounding Beijing could not. Mean AOD retrieved from the research algorithm increases from 0.11 to 0.18 compared to values calculated from the operational DT algorithm during January to March of 2013 over the study area. But near Beijing where the severe pollution occurs, the new algorithm increases AOD by as much as 3.0 for each 0.5° grid box, over the previous operational algorithm values.

Yingxi R. Shi et al.

 
Status: open (until 28 Jan 2021)
Status: open (until 28 Jan 2021)
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Yingxi R. Shi et al.

Yingxi R. Shi et al.

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Short summary
Due to fast industrialization and development, China has been experiencing haze pollution episodes with both high frequencies and severity over the last three decades. This study improve the accuracy and data coverage of measured aerosol from satellites, which help quantify, characterize and understand the impact of the haze phenomena over the entire East Asia region.
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