19 Apr 2021

19 Apr 2021

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

Comparing scattering ratio products retrieved from ALADIN/Aeolus and CALIOP/CALIPSO observations: sensitivity, comparability, and temporal evolution

Artem Feofilov1, Hélène Chepfer1, Vincent Noel2, Rodrigo Guzman1, Cyprien Gindre1, and Marjolaine Chiriaco3 Artem Feofilov et al.
  • 1LMD/IPSL, Sorbonne Université, UPMC Univ Paris 06, CNRS, École polytechnique, Palaiseau, 91128, France
  • 2Laboratoire d’Aérologie, CNRS/UPS, Observatoire Midi -Pyrénées, 14 avenue Edouard Belin, Toulouse, France
  • 3LATMOS/IPSL, Univ. Versailles Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, Guyancourt, France

Abstract. The spaceborne active sounders have been contributing invaluable vertically resolved information of atmospheric optical properties since the launch of CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation) in 2006. To ensure the continuity of climate studies and monitoring the global changes, one has to understand the differences between lidars operating at different wavelengths, flying at different orbits, and utilizing different observation geometries, receiving paths, and detectors. In this article, we show the results of an intercomparison study of ALADIN (Atmospheric Laser Doppler INstrument) and CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization) lidars using their scattering ratio (SR) products for the period of 28/06/2019−31/12/2019. We suggest an optimal set of collocation criteria (Δdist < 1º; Δtime < 6 h), which would give a representative set of collocated profiles and we show that for such a pair of instruments the theoretically achievable cloud detection agreement for the data collocated with aforementioned criteria is 0.77 ± 0.17. The analysis of a collocated database consisting of ~78000 pairs of collocated nighttime SR profiles revealed the following: (a) in the cloud-free area, the agreement is good indicating low frequency of false positive cloud detections by both instruments; (b) the cloud detection agreement is better for the lower layers. Above ~7 km, the ALADIN product demonstrates lower sensitivity because of lower backscatter at 355 nm and because of lower signal-to-noise ratio; (c) in 50 % of the analyzed cases when ALADIN reported a low cloud not detected by CALIOP, the middle level cloud hindered the observations and perturbed the ALADIN’s retrieval indicating the need for quality flag refining for such scenarios; (d) large sensitivity to lower clouds leads to skewing the ALADIN’s cloud peaks down by ~0.5 ± 0.4 km, but this effect does not alter the polar stratospheric cloud peak heights; (e) temporal evolution of cloud agreement quality does not reveal any anomaly for the considered period, indicating that hot pixels and laser degradation effects in ALADIN have been mitigated at least down to the uncertainties in the following cloud detection agreement values: 61 ± 16 %, 34 ± 18 % 24 ± 10 %, 26 ± 10 %, and 22 ± 12 % at 0.75 km, 2.25 km, 6.75 km, 8.75 km, and 10.25 km, respectively.

Artem Feofilov et al.

Status: open (until 14 Jun 2021)

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Artem Feofilov et al.

Data sets

Colocated ALADIN/Aeolus and CALIOP/CALIPSO observations for the period of 28/06/2019−31/12/2019 Feofilov, A. G., Chepfer, H., Noel, V., Guzman, R., Gindre, C., and Chiriaco, M.

Artem Feofilov et al.


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Short summary
The spaceborne lidars have been providing invaluable information of atmospheric optical properties since 2006, and new lidar missions are on the way to ensure continuous observations. In this work, we perform an intercomparison of the spaceborne ALADIN and CALIOP lidars operating at 355 nm and 532 nm, respectively. The analysis of collocated data reveals that the cloud detection agreement is better in lower layers whereas high clouds are less frequently retrieved from ALADIN observations.