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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-122
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2020-122
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 29 Jun 2020

Submitted as: research article | 29 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Validation of the Sentinel-5 Precursor TROPOMI cloud data with Cloudnet, Aura OMI O2-O2, MODIS and Suomi-NPP VIIRS

Steven Compernolle1, Athina Argyrouli2,3, Ronny Lutz3, Maarten Sneep4, Jean-Christopher Lambert1, Ann Mari Fjæraa5, Daan Hubert1, Arno Keppens1, Diego Loyola3, Ewan O'Connor6,7, Fabian Romahn3, Piet Stammes4, Tijl Verhoelst1, and Ping Wang4 Steven Compernolle et al.
  • 1Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB), Ringlaan 3, 1180 Uccle (Brussels), Belgium
  • 2Technical University of Munich, TUM Department of Civil, Geo and Environmental Engineering, Chair of Remote Sensing Technology, Munich, Germany
  • 3German Aerospace Center (DLR), Münchener Straße 20, 82234 Weßling, Germany
  • 4Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), Utrechtseweg 297, 3730 AE De Bilt, the Netherlands
  • 5Norsk Institutt for Luftforskning (NILU), Instituttveien 18, 2007 Kjeller, Norway
  • 6Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Helsinki, Finland
  • 7University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 217, Reading, Berkshire, RG6 6AH, United Kingdom

Abstract. Accurate knowledge of cloud properties is essential to the measurement of atmospheric composition from space. In this work we assess the quality of the cloud data derived from Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor (S5P) TROPOMI radiance measurements: cloud top height and cloud optical thickness (retrieved with the S5P OCRA/ROCINN_CAL algorithm), cloud height (S5P OCRA/ROCINN_CRB and S5P FRESCO) and radiometric cloud fraction (all three algorithms). The analysis combines: (i) the examination of cloud maps for artificial geographical patterns, (ii) the comparison to other satellite cloud data (MODIS, NPP-VIIRS and OMI O2-O2), and (iii) ground-based validation with respect to correlative observations (2018-04-30 to 2020-02-27) from the CLOUDNET network of ceilometers, lidars and radars. Peculiar geographical patterns were identified, and will be mitigated in future releases of the cloud data products. Zonal mean latitudinal variation of S5P cloud properties are similar to that of other satellite data. S5P OCRA/ROCINN_CAL agrees well with NPP VIIRS cloud top height and cloud optical thickness, and with CLOUDNET cloud top height, especially for the low (mostly liquid) clouds. For the high clouds, S5P OCRA/ROCINN_CAL cloud top height is below the cloud top height of VIIRS and of CLOUDNET, while its cloud optical thickness is higher than that of VIIRS. S5P OCRA/ROCINN_CRB and S5P FRESCO cloud height are well below the CLOUDNET cloud mean height for the low clouds, but match on an average better with the CLOUDNET cloud mean height for the higher clouds. As opposed to S5P OCRA/ROCINN_CRB and S5P FRESCO, S5P OCRA/ROCINN_CAL is well able to match the lowest CTH mode of the CLOUDNET observations.

Steven Compernolle et al.

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Latest update: 10 Jul 2020
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Short summary
The high-resolution satellite Sentinel-5p TROPOMI observes several atmospheric gases. To account for cloud interference with the observations, S5P cloud data products (CLOUD OCRA/ROCINN_CAL, OCRA/ROCINN_CRB and FRESCO) provide vital input: cloud fraction, cloud height and cloud optical thickness. Here, the S5P cloud parameters are validated by comparing with other satellite sensors (VIIRS, MODIS, OMI) and with ground-based CLOUDNET data. The agreement depends on product type and cloud height.
The high-resolution satellite Sentinel-5p TROPOMI observes several atmospheric gases. To account...
Citation