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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
19 Oct 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Two decades of satellite observations of AOD over mainland China
Gerrit de Leeuw1, Larisa Sogacheva1, Edith Rodriguez1, Konstantinos Kourtidis2, Aristeidis K. Georgoulias2, Georgia Alexandri2, Vassilis Amiridis3, Emmanouil Proestakis3,4, Eleni Marinou3,5, Yong Xue6, and Ronald van der A7 1Finnish Meteorological Institute(FMI), Climate Research Unit, Helsinki, Finland
2Laboratory of Atmospheric Pollution and Pollution Control Engineering of Atmospheric Pollutants, Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Xanthi, Greece
3National Observatory Athens (NOA), Greece
4Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Department of Physics, University of Patras, 26500, Greece
5Department of Physics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, 54124, Greece
6Department of Electronics, Computing and Mathematics, College of Engineering and Technology, University of Derby, Derby DE22 1GB, UK
7Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, Netherlands
Abstract. The retrieval of aerosol properties from satellite observations provides their spatial distribution over a wide area in cloud-free conditions. As such, they complement ground-based measurements by providing information over sparsely instrumented areas, albeit that significant differences may exist in both the type of information obtained and the temporal information from satellite and ground-based observations. In this paper, information from different types of satellite-based instruments is used to provide a 3-D climatology of aerosol properties over mainland China, i.e. vertical profiles of extinction coefficients from CALIOP, a lidar flying on board the CALIPSO satellite, and the column-integrated extinction (AOD), available from three radiometers: ESA’s ATSR-2, AATSR (together referred to as ATSR) and NASA's MODIS/Terra, together spanning the period 1995–2015. AOD data are retrieved from ATSR using the ADV v2.31 algorithm while for MODIS the Collection 6 (C6) DTDB merged AOD data set is used. These data sets are validated and differences are compared using AERONET version 2 L2.0 AOD data as reference. The results show that, over China, MODIS slightly overestimates the AOD and ATSR slightly underestimates the AOD. Consequently, MODIS AOD is overall higher than that from ATSR, and the difference increases with increasing AOD. The comparison also shows that none of the ATSR and MODIS AOD data sets is better than the other one everywhere. However, ATSR ADV has limitations over bright surfaces where the MODIS DB was designed for. To allow for comparison of MODIS C6 results with previous analyses where MODIS Collection 5.1 (C5.1) data were used, also the difference between the C6 and C5.1 DTDB merged data sets from MODIS/Terra over China is briefly discussed.

The AOD data sets show strong seasonal differences and the seasonal features vary with latitude and longitude across China. Two-decadal AOD time series, averaged over the whole mainland China, are presented and briefly discussed. Using the 17 years of ATSR data as the basis and MODIS/Terra to follow the temporal evolution in recent years when ENVISAT was lost requires a comparison of the data sets for the overlapping period to show their complementarity. ATSR precedes the MODIS time series between 1995 and 2000 and shows a distinct increase in the AOD over this period. The two data series show similar variations during the overlapping period between 2000 and 2011, with minima and maxima in the same years. MODIS extends this time series beyond the end of the ENVISAT period in 2012, showing decreasing AOD.

Citation: de Leeuw, G., Sogacheva, L., Rodriguez, E., Kourtidis, K., Georgoulias, A. K., Alexandri, G., Amiridis, V., Proestakis, E., Marinou, E., Xue, Y., and van der A, R.: Two decades of satellite observations of AOD over mainland China, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Gerrit de Leeuw et al.
Gerrit de Leeuw et al.


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