Xia, XA, Chen, HB, Wang, PC (2004). Validation of MODIS aerosol retrievals and evaluation of potential cloud contamination in East Asia. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES-CHINA, 16(5), 832-837.

MODIS aerosol retrievals onboard Terra/Aqua and ground truth data obtained from AERONET(Aerosol Robtic Network) solar direct radiance measurements are collocated to evaluate the quality of the former in East Asia. AERONET stations in East Asia are separated into two groups according to their locations and the preliminary validation results for each station. The validation results showed that the accuracy of MODIS aerosol retrievals in East Asia is a little worse than that obtained in other regions such as Eastern U. S., Western Europe, Brazil and so on. The primary reason is due to the improper aerosol model used in MODIS aerosol retrieval algorithm, so it is of significance to characterize aerosol properties properly according to long term ground-based remote sensing or other relevant in situ observations in order to improve MODIS retrievals in East Asia. Cloud contamination is proved to be one of large errors, which is demonstrated by the significant relation between MODIS aerosol retrievals versus cloud fraction, as well as notable improvement of linear relation between satellite and ground aerosol data after potential cloud contamination screened. Hence, it is suggested that more stringent clear sky condition be set in use of MODIS aerosol data. It should be pointed out that the improvement might be offset by other error sources in some cases because of complex relation between different errors. Large seasonal variation of surface reflection and uncertainties associated with it result in large intercepts and random error in MODIS aerosol retrievals in northern inland of East Asia. It remains to be a big problem to retrieve aerosols accurately in inland characterized by relatively larger surface reflection than the requirement in MODIS aerosol retrieval algorithm.