Light scattering and absorption properties of dust particles retrieved from satellite measurements

R-M. Hu, R.S. Sokhi

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Abstract

We use the radiative transfer model and chemistry transport model to improve our retrievals of dust optical properties from satellite measurements. The optical depth and absorbing optical depth of mineral dust can be obtained from our improved retrieval algorithm. We find the nonsphericity and absorption of dust particles strongly affect the scattering signatures such as phase function and polarization at the ultraviolet wavelengths. From our retrieval results, we find the high levels of dust concentration occurred over most desert regions such as Saharan and Gobi deserts. The dust absorption is found to be sensitive to mineral chemical composition, particularly the fraction of strongly absorbing dust particles. The enhancement of polarization at the scattering angles exceeding 120 is found for the nonspherical dust particles. If the polarization is neglected in the radiative transfer calculation, a maximum 50 percent error is introduced for the case of forward scattering and 25 percent error for the case of backscattering. We suggest that the application of polarimeter at the ultraviolet wavelengths has the great potential to improve the satellite retrievals of dust properties. Using refined optical model and radiative transfer model to calculate the solar radiative forcing of dust aerosols can reduce the uncertainties in aerosol radiative forcing assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1698-1705
JournalJournal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer
Volume110
Issue number14-16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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