Correcting for trace gas absorption when retrieving aerosol optical depth from satellite observations of reflected shortwave radiation
Patadia, F.; Levy, R.C.; Mattoo, S.
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 11(6): 3205-3219
ISSN/ISBN: 1867-8548 Accession: 082724799
. Retrieving aerosol optical depth (AOD) from top-of-atmosphere (TOA) satellite-measured radiance requires separating the aerosol signal from the total observed signal. Total TOA radiance includes signal from the underlying surface and from atmospheric constituents such as aerosols, clouds and gases. Multispectral retrieval algorithms, such as the dark-target (DT) algorithm that operates upon the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS, on board Terra and Aqua satellites) and Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS, on board Suomi-NPP) sensors, use wavelength bands in "window" regions. However, while small, the gas absorptions in these bands are non-negligible and require correction. In this paper, we use the High-resolution TRANsmission (HITRAN) database and Line-By-Line Radiative Transfer Model (LBLRTM) to derive consistent gas corrections for both MODIS and VIIRS wavelength bands. Absorptions from H2O, CO2 and O3 are considered, as well as other trace gases. Even though MODIS and VIIRS bands are "similar", they are different enough that applying MODIS-specific gas corrections to VIIRS observations results in an underestimate of global mean AOD (by 0.01), but with much larger regional AOD biases of up to 0.07. As recent studies have been attempting to create a long-term data record by joining multiple satellite data sets, including MODIS and VIIRS, the consistency of gas correction has become even more crucial.