De Paepe, B, Ignatov, A, Dewitte, S, Ipe, A (2008). Aerosol retrieval over ocean from SEVIRI for the use in GERB Earth's radiation budget analyses. REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT, 112(5), 2455-2468.
To study the effect of aerosols on the Earth's radiation budget (ERB), the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMIB) has integrated spectral aerosol optical depth (AOD) measurements over the ocean from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infra-Red Scanner (SEVIRI) into its Geostationary Earth's Radiation Budget, or GERB, processing system referred to as the RGP. Aerosols affect the ERB both directly (when radiation interacts with an aerosol particle) and indirectly (when aerosols act as cloud condensation nuclei). Quantifying the indirect effect is challenging as it requires accurate aerosol retrievals in the close proximity to clouds, where aerosol retrievals may be biased due to leakages from the cloud mask (CM). The initial focus of the RGP project was on the direct effect using confidently clear scenes. A single channel CM exploiting the SEVIRI temporal sampling was developed at the RMIB for the use in the RGP project. In this study, that single channel mask was evaluated against two multi-channel CMs, one from the Meteorological Products Extraction Facility (MPEF) at the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), and the other from the Satellite Application Facility for Supporting NoWCasting and Very Short Range Forecasting (SAFNWC), respectively. The NOAA/NESDIS Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) single channel aerosol algorithm was adjusted to SEVIRI spectral bands and consistently applied to the pixels identified as cloud-free. The aerosol products corresponding to the three CMs were compared, and the RMIB CM was found to be sufficiently accurate and conservative, for RGP applications. Comparisons with independent AODs derived from the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard Terra and Aqua satellites show that the RMIB CM-based SEVIRI aerosol product compares well with its MODIS counterpart. However, a small fraction of cloud-contaminated pixels may still remain in the SEVIRI AOD imagery, chiefly within one to two SEVIRI pixels of the cloud boundary, thus limiting its use for indirect forcing studies. Also, the RMIB CM may screen high AOD non-dust aerosol events (e.g., smoke from biomass burning) as cloud. The potential of the new SEVIRI aerosol product is illustrated by generating 9 km-resolution seasonal maps of AODs and Angstrom Exponents, and by using the GERB radiative flux measurements for a preliminary quick assessment of the direct aerosol forcing. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.