21 Nov 2022
21 Nov 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Across-track Extension of Retrieved Cloud and Aerosol Properties for the EarthCARE Mission: The ACM-3D Product

Zhipeng Qu, Howard W. Barker, Jason N. S. Cole, and Mark W. Shephard Zhipeng Qu et al.
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada, Toronto, ON, Canada

Abstract. The narrow cross-section of cloud and aerosol properties retrieved by L2-algorithms that operate on data from EarthCARE’s nadir-pointing sensors gets “broadened” across-track by an algorithm that is described and demonstrated here. This Scene Construction Algorithm (SCA) consists of four sub-algorithms. At its core is a radiance-matching procedure that works with measurements made by EarthCARE’s Multi-Spectral Imager (MSI). In essence, an off-nadir pixel gets filled with retrieved profiles that are associated with a (nearby) nadir pixel whose MSI radiances best match those of the off-nadir pixel. The SCA constructs a 3D array of cloud and aerosol (and surface) properties for entire frames that measure ~6,000 km along-track by 150 km across-track (i.e., the MSI’s full swath). Constructed domains out to ~15 km on both sides of nadir are used explicitly downstream as input for 3D radiative transfer models that predict top-of-atmosphere (TOA) broadband solar and thermal fluxes and radiances. These quantities are compared to com-mensurate measurements made by EarthCARE’s BroadBand Radiometer (BBR), thus facilitating a continuous closure assessment of the retrievals. Three 6,000 km x 200 km frames of synthetic EarthCARE observations were used to demonstrate the SCA. The main conclusion is that errors in modelled TOA fluxes that stem from use of 3D domains produced by the SCA are expected to be less than ±5 W m-2 and rarely larger than ±10 W m-2. As such, the SCA, as purveyor of in-formation needed to run 3D radiative transfer models, should help more than hinder the radiative closure assessment of EarthCARE’s L2 retrievals.

Zhipeng Qu et al.

Status: open (until 27 Dec 2022)

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Zhipeng Qu et al.

Zhipeng Qu et al.


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Short summary
This paper describes EarthCARE’s L2 product ACM-3D. It includes the Scene Construction Algorithm (SCA) used to produce the indexes for reconstructing 3D atmospheric scene based on satellite nadir retrievals. It also provide the information about the buffer zone sizes of 3D assessment domains and the ranking scores for selecting the best 3D assessment domains. These output variables are needed to run 3D radiative transfer models for the radiative closure assessment of EarthCARE’s L2 retrievals.