Instantaneous aerosol and surface retrieval using satellites in geostationary orbit (iAERUS-GEO) - estimation of 15 min aerosol optical depth from MSG/SEVIRI and evaluation with reference data

Ceamanos, Xavier ; Six, Bruno ; Moparthy, Suman ; Carrer, Dominique ; Georgeot, Adèle ; Gasteiger, Josef ; Riedi, Jérôme ; Attié, Jean-Luc ; Lyapustin, Alexei ; Katsev, Iosif

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Geostationary meteorological satellites are unique tools to monitor atmospheric aerosols from space. The observation of the Earth several times per hour allows these types of imaging systems to provide high-temporal-resolution observations of these suspended particles, which are of interest for research and operational topics, including climate, air quality, numerical weather prediction, and volcanic risk management. However, some challenges need to be addressed to achieve the sub-daily retrieval of aerosol properties mainly due to the varying sensitivity of geostationary imagers to aerosols during the day. In this article we propose a new algorithm named iAERUS-GEO (instantaneous Aerosol and surfacE Retrieval Using Satellites in GEOstationary orbit) that estimates the diurnal evolution of aerosol optical depth (AOD) over land and ocean from the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite. This is achieved by the use of an optimal-estimation method combined with several aerosol models and other features, including the daily retrieval of the surface reflectance directionality using Kalman filtering. AOD estimates provided by iAERUS-GEO every 15 min - the acquisition frequency of the Spinning Enhanced Visible InfraRed Imager (SEVIRI) on MSG - are assessed with collocated reference aerosol observations. First, comparison to AERONET ground-based data proves the overall satisfactory accuracy of iAERUS-GEO over land, with the exception of some higher biases found over bright surfaces and for high scattering angles. The confidence measure provided by iAERUS-GEO is proved useful to filter these less satisfactory retrievals that generally arise due to a low information content on aerosols provided by SEVIRI. Second, comparison to the GRASP/POLDER satellite product shows similar scores for the two aerosol data sets, with a significantly larger number of retrievals for iAERUS-GEO. This added value - which we illustrate here by inspecting the sub-daily variation in AOD over selected regions - allows geostationary satellites to break the temporal barrier set by traditional aerosol remote sensing from the low Earth orbit. Furthermore, the aerosol retrievals presented in this work are expected to be improved in the near future thanks to the enhanced sensing capabilities of the upcoming Meteosat Third Generation Imager mission.</p>

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