The most important aerosol properties for determining aerosol effect in the solar radiation reaching the earth's surface
are the aerosol extinction optical depth and the single scattering albedo (SSA). Most of the latest studies, dealing with
aerosol direct or indirect effects, are based on the analysis of aerosol optical depth in a regional or global scale, while
SSA is typically assumed based on theoretical assumptions and not direct measurements. Especially for the retrieval of
SSA in the UV wavelengths only limited work has been available in the literature.
In the frame of SCOUT-O3 project, the variability of the aerosol SSA in the UV and visible range was investigated
during an experimental campaign. The campaign took place in July 2006 at Thessaloniki, Greece, an urban environment
with high temporal aerosol variability. SSA values were calculated using measured aerosol optical depth, direct and
diffuse irradiance as input to radiative transfer models. The measurements were performed by co-located UV-MFRSR
and AERONET CIMEL filter radiometers, as well as by two spectroradiometers. In addition, vertical aerosol profile
measurements with LIDAR and in-situ information about the aerosol optical properties at ground level with a
nephelometer and an aethalometer were available.
The ground-based measurements revealed a strong diurnal cycle in the SSA measured in-situ at ground level (from 0.75
to 0.87 at 450nm), which could be related to the variability of the wind speed, the boundary layer height and the local
aerosol emissions. The reasons for SSA differences obtained by different techniques are analyzed for the first time to
provide recommendations for more accurate column SSA measurements.
Lately a number of studies related with UV irradiance estimates from satellite data based on the Ozone Monitoring
Instrument (OMI) have shown a high correlation with ground-based measurements but a positive bias in many locations,
the satellite derived UV being higher. One of the key factors that this bias has been attributed to is the boundary layer
aerosol absorption not taken into account in the current OMI UV algorithm. In this work we have used a correction
procedure based on climatological global aerosol absorption data taken from AeroComm aerosol initiative. This dataset
includes aerosol optical depth and aerosol single scattering albedo assembled by combining, ground-based aerosol
measurements from AERONET and information from several global aerosol models. The results of this correction were
compared with synchronous ground-based measurements from 9 UV monitoring stations. The results generally showed a
significantly reduced bias of 7-20%, a lower variability, and an unchanged, high correlation coefficient.
TOMS UV algorithm is capable of taking into account the scattering aerosols via its scene reflectivity. It also accounts for absorbing aerosols in free troposphere (dust and smoke plumes) via aerosol index correction. On the other hand, the effects of aerosol absorption in the boundary layer are not properly taken into account, because they do not appear as absorbing aerosols in the TOMS AI data (positive AI). This additional error has been claimed to be the reason for the observed positive bias between TOMS derived UV and ground-based measurements. We compared TOMS overpass irradiances against the Brewer measurements in NASA/GSFC site in USA and Thessaloniki, Greece with the main objective of evaluating the effect of absorbing aerosols with the measurements of aerosol optical properties. We found that the bias between TOMS UV and ground-based data depends on the aerosol absorption. In other words, the bias was increasing with the increasing aerosol absorption, τabs. A simple correction to account for this effect is proposed, assuming that the climatology of τabs is known.
The seasonal variation of the surface albedo, due to snow or ice, complicates satellite estimation of the high-latitude surface UV irradiance. The TOMS instrument, that measures the backscattered radiances from the Earth's atmosphere and surface, does not distinguish cloud backscattering from surface backscattering. When the TOMS UV algorithm is used, false interpretation of the measured high reflectivity as thick cloudiness leads to substantial underestimation of the surface UV irradiance. While the largest UV irradiance is usually received during the summer, the spring exposure to UV radiation is the main concern in high-latitudes
since the sensitivity of some biological organisms to UV radiation
is more pronounced at low temperatures, and snowcover enhances
the surface UV irradiance. This paper presents a new method for estimation of the surface reflectivity. The method is based on analysis of the TOMS Lambertian equivalent reflectivity data
using the moving time-window technique. The new method treats the measured reflectivity data as samples from a distribution
whose lower tail corresponds to surface albedo. The basic
method assumes that the distribution is homogeneous, i.e. the surface albedo is constant within the window. Adequate statistics is achieved only by using a wide time-window which, unfortunately, leads to underestimation of the surface albedo during spring and autumn transitions. Therefore, the method was developed further to account for transitions. The feasibility of the new method has been studied globally for high-latitude regions, and it is expected to improve springtime UV irradiance estimates of polar regions.
We evaluate the effects of possible enhancements of the current (version 1) TOMS surface UV irradiance algorithm. The major enhancements include more detailed treatment of tropospheric aerosols, effects of diurnal variation of cloudiness and improved treatment of snow/ice. The emphasis is on the comparison between the results of the version 1 TOMS UV algorithm and each of the changes proposed. TOMS UV algorithm does not discriminate between nonabsorbing aerosols and clouds. Absorbing aerosols are corrected by using the TOMS aerosol index data. The treatment of aerosol attenuation might have been improved by using newly derived TOMS products: optical depths and the single-scattering albedo for dust, smoke, and sulfate aerosols. We evaluate different approaches for improved treatment of pixel average cloud attenuation, with and without snow/ice on the ground. In addition to treating clouds based only on the measurements at the local time of the TOMS observations, the results from other satellites and weather assimilation models can be used to estimate attenuation of the UV irradiance throughout the day. The improved (version 2) algorithm will be applied to reprocess the existing TOMS UV data record (since 1978) and to the future satellite sensors (e.g., Quik/TOMS, GOME, OMI on EOS/Aura and Triana/EPIC).