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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-446
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-446
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 21 Jun 2019

Submitted as: research article | 21 Jun 2019

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

Merging regional and global AOD records from 15 available satellite products

Larisa Sogacheva1, Thomas Popp2, Andrew M. Sayer3,4, Oleg Dubovik5, Michael J. Garay6, Andreas Heckel7, N. Christina Hsu8, Hiren Jethva3,4, Ralph A. Kahn8, Pekka Kolmonen1, Miriam Kosmale2, Gerrit de Leeuw1, Robert C. Levy8, Pavel Litvinov9, Alexei Lyapustin8, Peter North7, and Omar Torres10 Larisa Sogacheva et al.
  • 1Finnish Meteorological institute, Climate Research Program, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Center for Remote Sensing (DFD), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 3Goddard Earth Sciences Technology And Research (GESTAR), Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, MD, USA
  • 4NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
  • 5Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique, CNRS – Université Lille, France
  • 6Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA
  • 7Dept. of Geography, Swansea University, Swansea, UK
  • 8Climate and Radiation Laboratory, Earth Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
  • 9Generalized Retrieval of Atmosphere and Surface Properties SAS, Lille, France
  • 10Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, Earth Science Division, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, MD 20771, USA

Abstract. Satellite instruments provide a vantage point to study aerosol loading consistently over different regions of the world. However, the typical lifetime of a single satellite platform is on the order of 5–15 years; thus, for climate studies the usage of multiple satellite sensors should be considered. This paper assesses some options for creating merged products from an ensemble of 15 individual aerosol optical depth (AOD) data records produced from a broad range of institutions, sensors, and algorithms.

Discrepancies exist between AOD products due to differences in their information content, spatial and temporal sampling, calibration, retrieval algorithm approach, as well as cloud masking and other algorithmic assumptions. Users of satellite-based regional AOD time-series are often confronted with the challenge of choosing the appropriate dataset for the intended application. In this study AOD products from different sensors and algorithms are discussed with respect to temporal and spatial differences.

Several approaches are investigated to merge AOD records from different satellites, based on evaluation and inter-comparison results. Global and regional comparison of AOD monthly aggregates with ground-based AOD from the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) indicates that different products agree qualitatively for major aerosol source regions on annual, seasonal and monthly time scales, but have regional offsets. All merged regional AOD time series show highly consistent temporal patterns illustrating the evolution of regional AOD. With few exceptions, all merging approaches lead to similar results, reassuring the usefulness and stability of the merged products.

Here, we introduce a monthly AOD merged product for the period 1995–2017, which provides a long-term perspective on AOD changes over different regions of the world. We show that the quality of the merged product is as good as that of individual products. Optimal agreement of the AOD merged product with the AERONET further demonstrates the advantage of the merging of multiple products.

Larisa Sogacheva 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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Larisa Sogacheva et al.
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Short summary
The typical lifetime of a single satellite platform is on the order of 5–15 years; thus, for climate studies the usage of multiple satellite sensors should be considered. Here, we introduce methods, a monthly AOD merged product and AOD time series for the period 1995–2017 created from an ensemble of 15 individual data records produced from a broad range of institutions, sensors, and algorithms, which provides a long-term perspective on AOD changes over different regions of the world.
The typical lifetime of a single satellite platform is on the order of 5–15 years; thus, for...
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