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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(5), 421; doi:10.3390/rs8050421

Development, Production and Evaluation of Aerosol Climate Data Records from European Satellite Observations (Aerosol_cci)

Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt e. V. (DLR), Deutsches Fernerkundungsdatenzentrum (DFD), 82234 Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Climate Research Unit, 00101 Helsinki, Finland
Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB), B-1180 Brussels, Belgium
Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, 55128 Mainz, Germany
LMD Ecole Polytechnique, 75007 Paris, France
Faculty of Sciences, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique, CNRS, Universite Lille-1, 59655 Villeneuve d’Ascq, France
National Centre for Earth Observation, University of Oxford, OX1 3PU Oxford, UK
Norwegian Meteorological Institute, 0313 Oslo, Norway
Department of Geography, Swansea University, SA2 8PP Swansea, UK
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
Department of Physics, Institute of Environmental Physics, University Bremen, 28359 Bremen, Germany
European Space Agency (ESA), European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT), OX11 0FD Didcot, UK
Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) Atmospheric and Climate Research, 2027 Kjeller, Norway
Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), 3730 AE De Bilt, The Netherlands
STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, OX11 0QX Chilton, UK
Geosciences and Remote Sensing, Delft University of Technology, 2628 AA Delft, The Netherlands
Informatics Research Center, London Metropolitan University, N7 8DB London, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Xuepeng Zhao, Wenze Yang, Viju John, Hui Lu, Ken Knapp, Alexander Kokhanovsky and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 29 January 2016 / Revised: 28 April 2016 / Accepted: 10 May 2016 / Published: 16 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Climate Data Records and Applications)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [8021 KB, uploaded 18 May 2016]   |  


Producing a global and comprehensive description of atmospheric aerosols requires integration of ground-based, airborne, satellite and model datasets. Due to its complexity, aerosol monitoring requires the use of several data records with complementary information content. This paper describes the lessons learned while developing and qualifying algorithms to generate aerosol Climate Data Records (CDR) within the European Space Agency (ESA) Aerosol_cci project. An iterative algorithm development and evaluation cycle involving core users is applied. It begins with the application-specific refinement of user requirements, leading to algorithm development, dataset processing and independent validation followed by user evaluation. This cycle is demonstrated for a CDR of total Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) from two subsequent dual-view radiometers. Specific aspects of its applicability to other aerosol algorithms are illustrated with four complementary aerosol datasets. An important element in the development of aerosol CDRs is the inclusion of several algorithms evaluating the same data to benefit from various solutions to the ill-determined retrieval problem. The iterative approach has produced a 17-year AOD CDR, a 10-year stratospheric extinction profile CDR and a 35-year Absorbing Aerosol Index record. Further evolution cycles have been initiated for complementary datasets to provide insight into aerosol properties (i.e., dust aerosol, aerosol absorption). View Full-Text
Keywords: aerosols; AOD; dust; absorbing aerosol; stratospheric aerosol extinction; satellite climate data record; algorithm evolution and climate data record production; best practices aerosols; AOD; dust; absorbing aerosol; stratospheric aerosol extinction; satellite climate data record; algorithm evolution and climate data record production; best practices

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Popp, T.; de Leeuw, G.; Bingen, C.; Brühl, C.; Capelle, V.; Chedin, A.; Clarisse, L.; Dubovik, O.; Grainger, R.; Griesfeller, J.; Heckel, A.; Kinne, S.; Klüser, L.; Kosmale, M.; Kolmonen, P.; Lelli, L.; Litvinov, P.; Mei, L.; North, P.; Pinnock, S.; Povey, A.; Robert, C.; Schulz, M.; Sogacheva, L.; Stebel, K.; Stein Zweers, D.; Thomas, G.; Tilstra, L.G.; Vandenbussche, S.; Veefkind, P.; Vountas, M.; Xue, Y. Development, Production and Evaluation of Aerosol Climate Data Records from European Satellite Observations (Aerosol_cci). Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 421.

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