Lelli, L; Kokhanovsky, AA; Rozanov, VV; Vountas, M; Sayer, AM; Burrows, JP (2012). Seven years of global retrieval of cloud properties using space-borne data of GOME. ATMOSPHERIC MEASUREMENT TECHNIQUES, 5(7), 1551-1570.
We present a global and regional multi-annual (June 1996-May 2003) analysis of cloud properties (spherical cloud albedo - CA, cloud optical thickness - COT and cloud top height - CTH) of optically thick (COT > 5) clouds, derived using measurements from the GOME instrument on board the ESA ERS-2 space platform. We focus on cloud top height, which is obtained from top-of-atmosphere backscattered solar light measurements in the O-2 A-band using the Semi-Analytical CloUd Retrieval Algorithm SACURA. The physical framework relies on the asymptotic equations of radiative transfer. The dataset has been validated against independent ground- and satellite-based retrievals and is aimed to support trace-gases retrievals as well as to create a robust long-term climatology together with SCIAMACHY and GOME-2 ensuing retrievals. We observed the El Nino-Southern Oscillation anomaly in the 1997-1998 record through CTH values over the Pacific Ocean. The global average CTH as derived from GOME is 5.6 +/- 3.2 km, for a corresponding average COT of 19.1 +/- 13.9.