Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) and Angstrom exponent (AE) values derived with the MODIS retrieval algorithm over land (Collection 5) are compared with ground based sun photometer measurements at eleven sites spanning the globe. Although, in general, total AOD compares well at these sites (R2 values generally over 0.8), there are cases (from 2 to 67% of the measurements depending on the site) where MODIS clearly retrieves the wrong spectral dependence, and hence, an unrealistic AE value. Some of these poor AE retrievals are due to the aerosol signal being too small (total AOD〈0.3) but in other cases the AOD should have been high enough to derive accurate AE. However, in these cases, MODIS indicates AE values close to 0.6 and zero fine model weighting (FMW), i.e. dust model provides the best fitting to the MODIS observed reflectance. Yet, according to evidence from the collocated sun photometer measurements and back-trajectory analyses, there should be no dust present. This indicates that the assumptions about aerosol model and surface properties made by the MODIS algorithm may have been incorrect. Here we focus on problems related to parameterization of the land-surface optical properties in the algorithm, in particular the relationship between the surface reflectance at 660 and 2130 nm.
Meteorology and Climatology
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques; 4; 201-214