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Impact of Aerosols on the Omi Tropospheric No2 Retrievals Over Industrialized Regions: How Accurate is the Aerosol Correction of Cloud-free Scenes Via a Simple Cloud Model? : Volume 8, Issue 8 (10/08/2015)

By Chimot, J.

Description: Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing (GRS), Civil Engineering and Geosciences, TU Delft, the Netherlands. The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) instrument has provided daily global measurements of tropospheric NO2 for more than a decade. Numerous studies have drawn attention to the complexities related to measurements of tropospheric NO2 in the presence of aerosols. Fine particles affect the OMI spectral measurements and the length of the average light path followed by the photons. However, they are not explicitly taken into account in the current OMI tropospheric NO2 retrieval chain. Instead, the operational OMI O2-O2 cloud retrieval algorithm is applied both to cloudy scenes and to cloud free scenes with aerosols present. This paper describes in detail the complex interplay between the spectral effects of aerosols, the OMI O2-O2 cloud retrieval algorithm and the impact on the accuracy of the tropospheric NO2 retrievals through the computed Air Mass Factor (AMF) over cloud-free scenes. Collocated OMI NO2 and MODIS Aqua aerosol products are analysed over East China, in industrialized area. In addition, aerosol effects on the tropospheric NO2 AMF and the retrieval of OMI cloud parameters are simulated. Both the observation-based and the simulation-based approach demonstrate that the retrieved cloud fraction linearly increases with increasing Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT), but the magnitude of this increase depends on the aerosol properties and surface albedo. This increase is induced by the additional scattering effects of aerosols which enhance the scene brightness. The decreasing effective cloud pressure with increasing AOT represents primarily the absorbing effects of aerosols. The study cases show that the actual aerosol correction based on the implemented OMI cloud model results in biases between −20 and −40 % for the DOMINO tropospheric NO2 product in cases of high aerosol pollution (AOT ≥ 0.6) and elevated particles. On the contrary, when aerosols are relatively close to the surface or mixed with NO2, aerosol correction based on the cloud model results in overestimation of the DOMINO tropospheric NO2 product, between 10 and 20 %. These numbers are in line with comparison studies between ground-based and OMI tropospheric NO2 measurements under conditions with high aerosol pollution and elevated particles. This highlights the need to implement an improved aerosol correction in the computation of tropospheric NO2 AMFs.

Impact of aerosols on the OMI tropospheric NO2 retrievals over industrialized regions: how accurate is the aerosol correction of cloud-free scenes via a simple cloud model?

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