Upgrade of LSA-SAF Meteosat Second Generation daily surface albedo (MDAL) retrieval algorithm incorporating aerosol correction and other improvements

Juncu, Daniel ; Ceamanos, Xavier ; Trigo, Isabel F. ; Gomes, Sandra ; Freitas, Sandra C.

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<p align=justify>MDAL is the operational Meteosat Second Generation (MSG)-derived daily surface albedo product that has been generated and disseminated in near real time by EUMETSAT Satellite Application Facility for Land Surface Analysis (LSA-SAF) since 2005. We propose and evaluate an update to the MDAL retrieval algorithm which introduces the accounting for aerosol effects as well as other scientific developments: pre-processing recalibration of radiances acquired by the SEVIRI instrument aboard MSG and improved coefficients for atmospheric correction as well as for albedo conversion from narrow- to broadband. We compare the performance of MDAL broadband albedos pre- and post-upgrade with respect to three types of reference data: the EPS Ten-Day Albedo product ETAL is used as the primary reference, while albedo derived from in situ flux measurements acquired by ground stations and MODIS MCD43D albedo data are used to complete the validation. For the comparison to ETAL - conducted over the whole coverage area of SEVIRI - we see a reduction in average white-sky albedo mean bias error (MBE) from −0.02 to negligible levels (<0.001) and a reduction in average mean absolute error (MAE) from 0.034 to 0.026 (−24 %). Improvements can be seen for black-sky albedo as well, albeit less pronounced (14 % reduction in MAE). Further analysis distinguishing individual seasons, regions and land covers show that performance changes have spatial and temporal dependence: for white-sky albedo we see improvements over almost all regions and seasons relative to ETAL, except for Eurasia in winter; resolved by land cover we see a similar effect with improvements for all types for all seasons except winter, where some types exhibit slightly worse results (crop-, grass- and shrublands). For black-sky albedo we similarly see improvements for all seasons when averaged over the full data set, although sub-regions exhibit clear seasonal dependence: the performance of the upgraded MDAL version is generally diminished in local winter but better in local summer. The comparison with in situ observations is less conclusive due to the well-known problem of the spatial representativeness of near-ground observations with respect to satellite pixel footprint sizes. Comparison with MODIS at the same locations shows mixed results in terms of change in performance following the proposed upgrade but proves the good quality of the MDAL products in general. Based on the evidence presented in this study, we consider the updated algorithm version to be able to deliver a valuable improvement of the operational MDAL product. This improvement is two-fold: primarily, there is the refinement of the albedo values themselves; secondarily, the increased alignment with the ETAL product is beneficial for those who wish to exploit synergies between EUMETSAT's geostationary and polar satellites to generate data sets based on the LSA-SAF albedo products from the two different missions.</p>
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