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  • Earth Observations from DSCOVR/EPIC Instrument
    The Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) on board DSCOVR spacecraft is located at 1 million miles from Earth towards the Sun. This paper describes EPIC calibration and products. The NOAA Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) spacecraft was launched on February 11, 2015, and in June 2015 achieved its orbit at the first Lagrange point or L1, 1.5 million km from Earth towards the Sun. There are two NASA Earth observing instruments onboard: the Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology Advanced Radiometer (NISTAR). The purpose of this paper is to describe various capabilities of the DSCOVR/EPIC instrument. EPIC views the entire sunlit Earth from sunrise to sunset at the backscattering direction (scattering angles between 168.5° and 175.5°) with 10 narrowband filters: 317, 325, 340, 388, 443, 552, 680, 688, 764 and 779 nm. We discuss a number of pre-processing steps necessary for EPIC calibration including the geolocation algorithm and the radiometric calibration for each wavelength channel in terms of EPIC counts/second for conversion to reflectance units. The principal EPIC products are total ozone O3 amount, scene reflectivity, erythemal irradiance, UV aerosol properties, sulfur dioxide SO2 for volcanic eruptions, surface spectral reflectance, vegetation properties, and cloud products including cloud height. Finally, we describe the observation of horizontally oriented ice crystals in clouds and the unexpected use of the O2 B-band absorption for vegetation properties. more
  • Refining Surface Net Radiation Estimates in Arid and Semi-Arid Climates of Iran
    Although the downwelling fluxes exhibit space-time scales of dependency on characteristic of atmospheric variations, especially clouds, the upward fluxes and, hence the net radiation, depends on the variation of surface properties, particularly surface skin temperature and albedo. Evapotranspiration at the land surface depends on the properties of that surface and is determined primarily by the net surface radiation, mostly absorbed solar radiation. Thus, relatively high spatial resolution net radiation data are needed for evapotranspiration studies. Moreover, in more arid environments, the diurnal variations of surface (air and skin) temperature can be large so relatively high (sub-daily) time resolution net radiation is also needed. There are a variety of radiation and surface property products available but they differ in accuracy, space-time resolution and information content. This situation motivated the current study to evaluate multiple sources of information to obtain the best net radiation estimate with the highest space-time resolution from ISCCP FD dataset. This study investigates the accuracy of the ISCCP FD and AIRS surface air and skin temperatures, as well as the ISCCP FD and MODIS surface albedos and aerosol optical depths as the leading source of uncertainty in ISCCP FD dataset. The surface air temperatures, 10-cm soil temperatures and surface solar insolation from a number of surface sites are used to judge the best combinations of data products., especially on clear days. The corresponding surface skin temperatures in ISCCP FD, although they are known to be biased somewhat high, disagreed more with AIRS measurements because of the mismatch of spatial resolutions. The effect of spatial resolution on the comparisons was confirmed using the even higher resolution MODIS surface skin temperature values. The agreement of ISCCP FD surface solar insolation with surface measurements is good (within 2.4 - 9.1%), but the use of MODIS aerosol optical depths as an alternative was checked and found to not improve the agreement. The MODIS surface albedos differed from the ISCCP FD values by no more than 0.02 - 0.07, but because these differences are mostly at longer wavelengths, they did not change the net solar radiation very much. Therefore to obtain the best estimate of surface net radiation with the best combination of spatial and temporal resolution, we developed a method to adjust the ISCCP FD surface longwave fluxes using the AIRS surface air and skin temperatures to obtain the higher spatial resolution of the latter (45 km), while retaining the 3-hr time intervals of the former. Overall, the refinements reduced the ISCCP FD longwave flux magnitudes by about 25.5- 42.1 W/m2 RMS (maximum difference -27.5 W/m2 for incoming longwave radiation and -59 W/m2 for outgoing longwave radiation) with the largest differences occurring at 9:00 and 12:00 UTC near local noon. Combining the ISCCP FD net shortwave radiation data and the AIRS-modified net longwave radiation data changed the total net radiation for summertime by 4.64 to 61.5 W/m2 and for wintertime by 1.06 to 41.88 W/m2 (about 11.1 to 39.2 % of the daily mean). more
  • Diurnal and seasonal variations in surface methane at a tropical coastal station: Role of mesoscale meteorology
    In view of the large uncertainties in the methane (CH4) emission estimates and the large spatial gaps in its measurements, studies on near-surface CH4 on regional basis become highly relevant. This paper presents the first time observational results of a study on the impacts of mesoscale meteorology on the temporal variations of near-surface CH4 at a tropical coastal station, in India. It is based on the in-situ measurements conducted during January 2014 to August 2016, using an on-line CH4 analyzer working on the principle of gas chromatography. The diurnal variation shows a daytime low (1898–1925 ppbv) and nighttime high (1936–2022 ppbv) extending till early morning hours. These changes are closely associated with the mesoscale circulations, namely Sea Breeze (SB) and Land Breeze (LB), as obtained through the meteorological observations, WRF simulations of the circulations and the diurnal variation of boundary layer height as observed by the Microwave Radiometer Profiler. The diurnal enhancement always coincides with the onset of LB. Several cases of different onset timings of LB were examined and results presented. The CH4 mixing ratio also exhibits significant seasonal patterns being maximum in winter and minimum in pre-monsoon/monsoon with significant inter-annual variations, which is also reflected in diurnal patterns, and are associated with changing synoptic meteorology. This paper also presents an analysis of in-situ measured near-surface CH4, column averaged and upper tropospheric CH4 retrieved by Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) onboard Earth Observing System (EOS)/Aqua which gives insight into the vertical distribution of the CH4 over the location. An attempt is also made to estimate the instantaneous radiative forcing for the measured CH4 mixing ratio. more
  • Iteration Method for Simultaneous Estimation of Vertical Profiles of Air Temperature and Water Vapor with AQUA/AIRS Data
    Iteration method for simultaneous estimation of vertical profiles of air temperature and water vapor with the high spectral resolution of sounder of AQUA/AIRS data is proposed. Through a sensitivity analysis based on the proposed method for the several atmospheric models simulated by MODTRAN, it is found that the proposed method is superior to the conventional method by 41.4% for air temperature profile and by 88.9% for relative humidity profile. more