Kaufman, YJ, Holben, BN, Tanre, D, Slutsker, I, Smirnov, A, Eck, TF (2000). Will aerosol measurements from Terra and Aqua polar orbiting satellites represent the daily aerosol abundance and properties?. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 27(23), 3861-3864.
The Terra and Aqua missions will help quantify aerosol radiative forcing of climate by providing innovative measurements of the aerosol daily spatial distribution and identifying dust, smoke and regional pollution. However, these measurements are acquired at specific times of the day. To what extent can such measurements represent the daily average aerosol forcing of climate? We answer this question using 7 years of data from the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) of 50-70 global ground-based instruments. AERONET measures the aerosol spectral optical thickness and the total precipitable water vapor every 15 minutes throughout the day. With a data set of 1/2 million measurements, AERONET demonstrates that Terra and Aqua aerosol measurements can represent the annual average value within 2% error. This excellent Terra representation of the daily average optical thickness is independent of the particle size or range of the optical thickness. This finding should facilitate ingest of satellite aerosol measurements in models that calculate radiative forcing and predict climate change.