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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1130
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1130
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 23 Nov 2018

Research article | 23 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Inconsistency in spatial distributions and temporal trends derived from nine operational global aerosol optical depth products

Jing Wei1,2, Yiran Peng1, Rashed Mahmood3, Lin Sun4, and Jianping Guo5 Jing Wei et al.
  • 1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
  • 3Department of Atmospheric Science, School of Environmental Studies, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China
  • 4College of Geomatics, Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao, China
  • 5State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China

Abstract. Satellite-derived aerosol products provide long-term and large-scale observations for analysing aerosol distributions and variations, climate-scale aerosol simulations, and aerosol-climate interactions. Therefore, a better understanding of the consistencies and differences among multiple aerosol products is of great importance. The objective of this study is to evaluate nine operational global aerosol optical depth (AOD) products, including the European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative (ESA-CCI) Advanced Along-Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR), Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), Multi-angle Imaging Spectro Radiometer (MISR), Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), and Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS) over the land and oceans during the period from 1997 to 2017. Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) Version 3 Level 2.0 (cloud screened and quality assured) measurements at 243 sites around the world are selected for validation purposes. Our results illustrate that noticeable inconsistencies exist in spatial coverages, variations, and temporal trends among different aerosol products. Large annual mean AOD differences greater than 0.15 are mainly found in North Africa, Central Africa, the Middle East, and East Asia, as well as in the coastal areas of western North America and Asia. In general, the AATSR Swansea University (SU) product appears to have the best accuracy, the SeaWiFS product obviously underestimates aerosol loadings over the land and ocean, and the MODIS products seriously overestimate aerosol loadings over the land and ocean. For temporal trends, more than 77% and 72% of land and ocean sites, respectively, show the same trends direction as the ground observations. However, numerical differences are non-negligible in North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia and in most open oceans. MODIS products are generally more accurate in describing the temporal trends over the land and ocean. The aerosol loadings trend changed from positive to negative over the past two decades (2000−2017) in some continental areas. These results suggest that multiple AOD products show significant numerical inconsistencies in describing spatial distributions and temporal trends, which should be carefully considered when users choose aerosol products for their studies.

Jing Wei et al.
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Jing Wei et al.
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Short summary
This study first evaluated the similarities and differences in spatial variations and temporal trends of the currently nine operational global satellite-derived aerosol products anainst the ground-based measurements. Our results showed noticeable inconsistencies among them at local land/ocean regions and gave users a suitable aerosol dataset for their respective research studies. These results are also important for future climate-scale aerosol simulations, and aerosol-climate interactions.
This study first evaluated the similarities and differences in spatial variations and temporal...
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