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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-420
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2018-420
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 10 Dec 2018

Research article | 10 Dec 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

FRESCO-B: A fast cloud retrieval algorithm using oxygen B-band measurements from GOME-2

Marine Desmons, Ping Wang, Piet Stammes, and L. Gijsbert Tilstra Marine Desmons et al.
  • Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, The Netherlands

Abstract. The FRESCO (Fast Retrieval Scheme for Clouds from the Oxygen A-band) algorithm is a simple, fast and robust algorithm used to retrieve cloud information in operational satellite data processing. It has been applied to GOME-1, SCIAMACHY, GOME-2 and more recently to TROPOMI. FRESCO retrieves effective cloud fraction and cloud pressure from measurements in the oxygen A-band around 761nm. In this paper, we propose a new version of the algorithm, called FRESCO-B, which is based on measurements in the oxygen B-band around 687nm. Such a method is interesting for vegetated surfaces where the surface albedo is much lower in the B-band than in the A-band, which limits the ground contribution to the top-of-atmosphere reflectances. In this study we first perform retrieval simulations. These show that the retrieved cloud pressures from FRESCO-B and FRESCO differ only between −10hPa and +10hPa, except for high thin clouds over vegetation where the difference is larger, about +15 to +30hPa, with FRESCO-B yielding higher pressures. Next, inter-comparison between FRESCO-B and FRESCO retrievals over one month of GOME-2B data reveals that the effective cloud fractions retrieved in the O2 A and B bands are very similar (mean difference of 0.003) while the cloud pressures show a mean difference of 11.5hPa, with FRESCO-B retrieving higher pressures than FRESCO. This agrees with the simulations and is partly due to deeper photons penetrations of O2 B-band in clouds as compared to the O2 A-band photons, and partly due to the surface albedo bias in FRESCO. Finally, validation with ground-based measurements shows that the FRESCO-B cloud pressure represents an altitude within the cloud boundaries for clouds that are not too far from the Lambertian reflector model, which occurs in about 50% of the cases.

Marine Desmons et al.
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