The Multi-angle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) Joint Aerosol (JOINT_AS) Level 3 product has provided a global, descriptive summary of MISR Level 2 aerosol optical depth (AOD) and aerosol type information for each month over 16+ years since March 2000. Using Version 1 of JOINT_AS, which is based on the operational (Version 22) MISR Level 2 aerosol product, this study analyzes, for the first time, characteristics of observed and simulated distributions of AOD for three broad classes of aerosols: spherical nonabsorbing, spherical absorbing, and nonspherical - near or downwind of their major source regions. The statistical moments (means, standard deviations, and skew-nesses) and distributions of AOD by components derived from the JOINT_AS are compared with results from two chemistry transport models (CTMs), the Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport (GOCART) and SPectral RadIatioN-TrAnSport (SPRINTARS). Overall, the AOD distributions retrieved from MISR and modeled by GOCART and SPRINTARS agree with each other in a qualitative sense. Marginal distributions of AOD for each aerosol type in both MISR and models show considerable high positive skewness, which indicates the importance of including extreme AOD events when comparing satellite retrievals with models. The MISR JOINT_AS product will greatly facilitate comparisons between satellite observations and model simulations of aerosols by type.
Meteorology and Climatology; Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ISSN 1680-7316) (e-ISSN 1680-7324); 16; 10; 6627-6640