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Comparison of Cloud Properties from Himawari-8 and FengYun-4A Geostationary Satellite Radiometers with MODIS Cloud Retrievals

by 1,2, 1, 3,4, 5, 3,6, 6 and 1,2,*
1
Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
2
Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of China Meteorological Administration, School of Atmospheric Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
3
School of Atmospheric Sciences and Guangdong Province Key Laboratory for Climate Change and Natural Disaster Studies, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
4
Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Zhuhai 51900, China
5
State Key Laboratory of the Science and Remote Sensing, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
6
Key Laboratory of Radiometric Calibration and Validation for Environmental Satellites, National Satellite Meteorological Center, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100081, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(14), 1703; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11141703
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 16 July 2019 / Accepted: 17 July 2019 / Published: 18 July 2019
With the development and the improvement of meteorological satellites, different instruments have significantly enhanced the ability to observe clouds over large spatial regions. Recent geostationary satellite radiometers, e.g., Advanced Himawari Imager (AHI) and Advanced Geosynchronous Radiation Imager (AGRI) onboard the Himawari-8 and the Fengyun-4A satellite, respectively, provide observations over similar regions at higher spatial and temporal resolutions for cloud and atmosphere studies. To better understand the reliability of AHI and AGRI retrieval products, we compare their cloud products with collocated Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) cloud products, especially in terms of the cloud optical thickness (COT) and cloud effective radius (CER). Our comparison indicates that cloud mask and cloud phase of these instruments are reasonably consistent, while clear differences are noticed for COT and CER results. The average relative differences (RDs) between AHI and AGRI ice COT and that of MODIS are both over 40%, and the RDs of ice CER are less than 20%. The consistency between AHI and MODIS water cloud results is much better, with the RDs of COT and CER being 29% and 9%, respectively, whereas the RDs of AGRI COT and CER are still larger than 30%. Many factors such as observation geometry, cloud horizontal homogeneity, and retrieval system (e.g., retrieval algorithm, forward model, and assumptions) may contribute to these differences. The RDs of COTs from different instruments for homogeneous clouds are about one-third smaller than the corresponding RDs for inhomogeneous clouds. By applying unified retrieval systems based on the forward radiative transfer models designed for each particular band, we find that 30% to 70% of the differences among the results from different instruments are caused by the retrieval system (e.g., different treatments or assumptions for the retrievals), and the rest may be due to sub-pixel inhomogeneity, parallax errors, and calibration. View Full-Text
Keywords: AHI; AGRI; MODIS; cloud products AHI; AGRI; MODIS; cloud products
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Lai, R.; Teng, S.; Yi, B.; Letu, H.; Min, M.; Tang, S.; Liu, C. Comparison of Cloud Properties from Himawari-8 and FengYun-4A Geostationary Satellite Radiometers with MODIS Cloud Retrievals. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 1703.

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