Aerosol Properties in Cloudy Environments from Remote Sensing Observations

Marshak, A., A. S. Ackerman, A. da Silva, T. Eck, B. Holben, R. Kahn, et al. (2023), Aerosol Properties in Cloudy Environments from Remote Sensing Observations, Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 102, E2177-E2197, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-20-0225.1.

Aerosol properties are fundamentally different near clouds than away from clouds. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge of aerosol properties in the near-low-cloud environment and quantitatively compares them with aerosols far from clouds, according to remote sensing observations. It interprets observations of aerosol properties from different sensors using satellite, aircraft, and ground-based observations. The correlation (and anticorrelation) between proximity to cloud and aerosol properties is discussed. Retrieval artifacts in the near-cloud environment are demonstrated and quantified for different sensor attributes and environmental conditions. Finally, the paper describes the possible corrections for near-cloud enhancement in remote sensing retrievals. This study is timely in view of science definition studies for NASA’s Aerosol, Cloud, Convection and Precipitation (ACCP) mission, which will also seek to directly link aerosol properties to nearby clouds.

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GSFC Science Task Group