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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 10 | Copyright

Special issue: CALIPSO version 4 algorithms and data products

Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 5701-5727, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 18 Oct 2018

Research article | 18 Oct 2018

Extinction and optical depth retrievals for CALIPSO's Version 4 data release

Stuart A. Young1, Mark A. Vaughan2, Anne Garnier1, Jason L. Tackett1, James D. Lambeth1, and Kathleen A. Powell2 Stuart A. Young et al.
  • 1Science Systems and Applications, Inc. (SSAI), Hampton, VA 23666, USA
  • 2NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681, USA

Abstract. The Cloud–Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) on board the Cloud–Aerosol Lidar Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) satellite has been making near-global height-resolved measurements of cloud and aerosol layers since mid-June 2006. Version 4.10 (V4) of the CALIOP data products, released in November 2016, introduces extensive upgrades to the algorithms used to retrieve the spatial and optical properties of these layers, and thus there are both obvious and subtle differences between V4 and previous data releases. This paper describes the improvements made to the extinction retrieval algorithms and illustrates the impacts of these changes on the extinction and optical depth estimates reported in the CALIPSO lidar level 2 data products. The lidar ratios for both aerosols and ice clouds are generally higher than in previous data releases, resulting in generally higher extinction coefficients and optical depths in V4. A newly implemented algorithm for retrieving extinction coefficients in opaque layers is described and its impact examined. Precise lidar ratio estimates are also retrieved in these opaque layers. For semi-transparent cirrus clouds, comparisons between CALIOP V4 optical depths and the optical depths reported by MODIS collection 6 show substantial improvements relative to earlier comparisons between CALIOP version 3 and MODIS collection 5.

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Short summary
This paper describes comprehensive upgrades to the algorithms used to retrieve altitude-resolved profiles of cloud and aerosol extinction coefficients from the elastic backscatter measurements made by the space-based CALIPSO lidar. The CALIPSO version 4 data products generated by these new algorithms are explored in detail, and the many areas of improvement are highlighted using extensive comparisons both to previous versions and to collocated measurements made by space-based passive sensors.
This paper describes comprehensive upgrades to the algorithms used to retrieve altitude-resolved...