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Remote Sens. 2017, 9(6), 577; doi:10.3390/rs9060577

Mapping the Twilight Zone—What We Are Missing between Clouds and Aerosols

Department of Geography, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstraße 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
Department of Geography, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Gaußstraße 20, 42119 Wuppertal, Germany
Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany
Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Alexander A. Kokhanovsky
Received: 2 May 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 9 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Atmosphere Remote Sensing)
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Scientific understanding of aerosol-cloud interactions can profit from an analysis of the transition regions between pure aerosol and pure clouds as detected in satellite data. This study identifies and evaluates pixels in this region by analysing the residual areas of aerosol and cloud products from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Radiometer (MODIS) satellite sensor. These pixels are expected to represent the “twilight zone” or transition zone between aerosols and clouds. In the analysis period (February and August, 2007–2011), about 20% of all pixels are discarded by both MODIS aerosol and cloud retrievals (“Lost Pixels”). The reflective properties and spatial distribution of Lost Pixels are predominantly in between pure aerosol and cloud. The high amount of discarded pixels underlines the relevance of analyzing the transition zone as a relevant part of the Earth’s radiation budget and the importance of considering them in research on aerosol-cloud interactions. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerosol-cloud interactions; transition zone; MODIS; clouds; aerosols; radiation aerosol-cloud interactions; transition zone; MODIS; clouds; aerosols; radiation

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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MDPI and ACS Style

Schwarz, K.; Cermak, J.; Fuchs, J.; Andersen, H. Mapping the Twilight Zone—What We Are Missing between Clouds and Aerosols. Remote Sens. 2017, 9, 577.

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