Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/acp-2016-818
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
20 Oct 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Is there a bias in AERONET retrievals of aerosol light absorption at low AOD conditions?
Elisabeth Andrews1, John Ogren2, Stefan Kinne3, and Bjorn Samset4 1CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
2NOAA/ESRL/GMD, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
3Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
4Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO), 0349 Oslo, Norway
Abstract. Here we present new results comparing aerosol absorption optical depth (AAOD) and column single scattering albedo (SSA) obtained from in-situ vertical profile measurements with AERONET ground-based remote sensing from two rural continental sites in the US. The profiles are closely matched in time (within +/-3 h) and space (within 15 km) with the AERONET retrievals. These direct comparisons of in-situ-derived to AERONET-retrieved AAOD (or SSA) reveal that AERONET retrievals yield higher aerosol absorption for the low aerosol optical depth (AOD) conditions prevalent at the two study sites. The tendency of AERONET inversions to overestimate absorption at low AOD values is generally consistent with other published comparisons. We conclude that scaling modelled black carbon concentrations upwards to match AERONET retrievals of AAOD may lead to aerosol absorption overestimates in regions of low AOD.

Citation: Andrews, E., Ogren, J., Kinne, S., and Samset, B.: Is there a bias in AERONET retrievals of aerosol light absorption at low AOD conditions?, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-818, in review, 2016.
Elisabeth Andrews et al.
Elisabeth Andrews et al.
Elisabeth Andrews et al.

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Short summary
We compare absorption aerosol optical depth (AAOD) and single scattering albedo (SSA) from AERONET retrievals with AAOD and SSA obtained from in-situ vertical profiling flights over two sites in North America. We find that AERONET retrievals may be biased towards more absorbing (darker) aerosol in clean regions. This matters because AERONET retrievals of AAOD are often used to assess global model simulations of absorbing aerosol in the context of calculating aerosol radiative forcing.
We compare absorption aerosol optical depth (AAOD) and single scattering albedo (SSA) from...
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