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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-468
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-468
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 20 Jun 2018

Research article | 20 Jun 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Characterizing the 2015 Indonesia Fire Event Using Modified MODIS Aerosol Retrievals

Yingxi R. Shi1,3, Robert C. Levy1, Thomas F. Eck1,3, Brad Fisher1,2, Shana Mattoo1,2, Lorraine A. Remer4, Ilya Slutsker1,2, and Jianglong Zhang5 Yingxi R. Shi et al.
  • 1NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 2SSAI, Lanham, MD, USA
  • 3GESTAR, USRA, Columbia, MD, USA
  • 4UMBC/JCET, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • 5UND, Grand Forks, ND, USA

Abstract. The Indonesian fire and smoke event of 2015 was an extreme episode that affected public health and caused severe economic and environmental damage. The MODIS Dark Target (DT) aerosol algorithm, developed for global applications, significantly underestimated regional aerosol optical depth (AOD) during this episode. The larger-than-global-averaged uncertainties in DT product over this event were due to both an overly zealous set of masks that mistook heavy smoke plumes for clouds and/or inland water, and also an aerosol model developed for generic global aerosol conditions. Using Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) Version 3 sky inversions of local AERONET stations, we created a specific aerosol model for the extreme event. Thus, using this new less-absorbing aerosol model, cloud masking based on results of the MODIS cloud optical properties algorithm, and relaxed thresholds on both inland water tests and upper limits of the AOD retrieval we created a research algorithm, and applied it to 80 appropriate MODIS granules during the event. Collocating and comparing with AERONET AOD shows that the research algorithm doubles the number of MODIS retrievals greater than 1.0, while also significantly improving agreement with AERONET. The final results show that the operational DT algorithm had missed approximately 0.22 of the regional mean AOD, but as much as AOD=3.0 for individual 0.5° grid boxes. This amount of missing AOD can skew the perception of the severity of the event, affect estimates of regional aerosol forcing, and alter aerosol modeling and forecasting that assimilate MODIS aerosol data products. These results will influence the future development of the global DT aerosol algorithm.

Yingxi R. Shi et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Short summary
The Indonesian fire and smoke event of 2015 was an extreme episode that affected public health and caused severe economic and environmental damage. We managed to retrieve over very thick smoke plume and produce a lot more high aerosol loading data that are previously missed by other satellite products. These results will benefit varieties of downstream researches that uses the satellite aerosol data and influence the future development of the global satellite aerosol algorithm.
The Indonesian fire and smoke event of 2015 was an extreme episode that affected public health...
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