With the advent of spaceborne spectroradiometers in a geostationary constellation, measuring high spectral resolution ultraviolet-visible (UV-VIS) and selected near-/shortwave-infrared (NIR/SWIR) radiances can enable the probing of the life cycle of key atmospheric trace gases and aerosols at higher temporal resolutions over the globe. The UV-VIS measurements are important for retrieving several key trace gases (e.g., O3, SO2, NO2, and HCHO) and particularly for deriving aerosol characteristics (e.g., aerosol absorption and vertical profile). This study examines the merit of simultaneous retrievals of trace gases and aerosols using a ground-based spectroradiometer covering the UV-NIR to monitor their physicochemical processes and to obtain reliable aerosol information for various applications. During the 2019 pre-monsoon season over northern Thailand, we deployed a ground-based SMART-s (Spectral Measurements for Atmospheric Radiative Transfer-spectroradiometer) instrument, which is an extended-range Pandora with reliable radiometric calibration in the 330-820 nm range, to retrieve remotely sensed chemical and aerosol properties for the first time near biomass burning sources. The high spectral resolution (∼1.0 nm full width half maximum with ∼3.7 × oversampling) of sun and sky measurements from SMART-s provides several key trace gases (e.g., O3, NO2, and H2O) and aerosol properties covering the UV where significant light absorption occurs by the carbonaceous particles. During the measurement period, highly correlated total column amounts of NO2 and aerosol optical thickness (τaer) retrieved from SMART-s (correlation coefficient, R=0.74) indicated their common emissions from biomass burning events. The SMART-s retrievals of the spectral single scattering albedo (ω0) of smoke aerosols showed an abrupt decrease in the UV, which is an important parameter dictating photochemical processes in the atmosphere. The values of ω0 and column precipitable water vapor (H2O) gradually increase with the mixing of biomass burning smoke particles and higher water vapor concentrations when approaching the monsoon season. The retrieved ω0 and weighted mean radius of fine-mode aerosols from SMART-s showed positive correlations with the H2O (R=0.81 for ω0 at 330 nm and 0.56 for the volume-weighted mean radius), whereas the real part of the refractive index of fine-mode aerosol (nf) showed negative correlations (R=-0.61 at 330 nm), which suggest that aerosol aging processes including hygroscopic growth (e.g., humidification and cloud processing) can be a major factor affecting the temporal trends of aerosol optical properties. Retrieved nf and ω0 were closer to those of the water droplet (i.e., nf of about 1.33 and ω0 of about 1.0) under lower amounts of NO2 during the measurement period; considering that the NO2 amounts in the smoke may indicate the aging of the plume after emission due to its short lifetime, the tendency is also consistent with active hygroscopic processes of the aerosols over this area. Retrieved UV aerosol properties from SMART-s generally support the assumed smoke aerosol models (i.e., the spectral shape of aerosol absorption) used in NASA's current satellite algorithms, and their spectral ω0 retrievals from ground and satellites showed good agreements (R = 0.73-0.79). However, temporal and spectral variabilities in the aerosol absorption properties in the UV emphasize the importance of a realistic optical model of aerosols for further improvements in satellite retrievals.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research has been supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Radiation Sciences Program) and the National Institute of Environmental Research of South Korea, for partially supporting this study (grant no. NIER-2021-04-02-038).
© 2022 Ukkyo Jeong et al.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science