Publication Abstracts

Dubovik et al. 2019

Dubovik, O., Z. Li, M.I. Mishchenko, D. Tanré, Y. Karol, B. Bojkov, B. Cairns, D.J. Diner, W.R. Espinosa, P. Goloub, X. Gu, O. Hasekamp, J. Hong, W. Hou, K.D. Knobelspiesse, J. Landgraf, L. Li, P. Litvinov, Y. Liu, A. Lopatin, T. Marbach, H. Maring, V. Martins, Y. Meijer, G. Milinevsky, S. Mukai, F. Parol, Y. Qiao, L. Remer, J. Rietjens, I. Sano, P. Stammes, S. Stamnes, X. Sun, P. Tabary, L.D. Travis, F. Waquet, F. Xu, C. Yan, and D. Yin, 2019: Polarimetric remote sensing of atmospheric aerosols: instruments, methodologies, results, and perspectives. J. Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer, 224, 474-511, doi:10.1016/j.jqsrt.2018.11.024.

Polarimetry is one of the most promising types of remote sensing for improved characterization of atmospheric aerosol. Indeed, aerosol particles constitute a highly variable atmospheric component characterized by a large number of parameters describing particle sizes, morphologies (including shape and internal structure), absorption and scattering properties, amounts, horizontal and vertical distribution, etc. Reliable monitoring of all these parameters is very challenging, and therefore the aerosol effects on climate and environment are considered to be among the most uncertain factors in climate and environmental research. In this regard, observations that provide both the angular distribution of the scattered atmospheric radiation as well as its polarization state at multiple wavelengths covering the UV-SWIR spectral range carry substantial implicit information on the atmospheric composition. Therefore, high expectations in improving aerosol characterization are associated with detailed passive photopolarimetric observations.

The critical need to use space-borne polarimetry for global accurate monitoring of detailed aerosol properties was first articulated in the late 1980s and early 1990s. By now, several orbital instruments have already provided polarization observations from space, and a number of advanced missions are scheduled for launch in the coming years by international and national space agencies. The first and most extensive record of polarimetric imagery was provided by POLDER-I, POLDER-II, and POLDER/PARASOL multi-angle multi-spectral polarization sensors. Polarimetric observations with the POLDER-like design intended for collecting extensive multi-angular multi-spectral measurements will be provided by several instruments, such as the MAI/TG-2, CAPI/TanSat, and DPC/GF-5 sensors recently launched by the Chinese Space Agency. Instruments such as the 3MI/MetOp-SG, MAIA, SpexOne and HARP2 on PACE, POSP, SMAC, PCF, DPC-Lidar, ScanPol and MSIP/Aerosol-UA, MAP/Copernicus CO2 Monitoring, etc. are planned to be launched by different space agencies in the coming decade. The concepts of these future instruments, their technical designs, and the accompanying algorithm development have been tested intensively and analyzed using diverse airborne prototypes. Certain polarimetric capabilities have also been implemented in such satellite sensors as GOME-2/MetOp and SGLI/GCOM-C.

A number of aerosol retrieval products have been developed based on the available measurements and successfully used for different scientific applications. However, the completeness and accuracy of aerosol data operationally derived from polarimetry do not yet appear to have reached the accuracy levels implied by theoretical sensitivity studies that analyzed the potential information content of satellite polarimetry. As a result, the dataset provided by MODIS is still most frequently used by the scientific community, yet this sensor has neither polarimetric nor multi-angular capabilities. Admittedly polarimetric multi-angular observations are highly complex and have extra sensitivities to aerosol particle morphology, vertical variability of aerosol properties, polarization of surface reflectance, etc. As such, they require state-of-the-art forward modeling based on first-principles physics which remains rare. As a consequence, simplistic conventional retrieval approaches turn out to be incapable of fully exploiting the information implicit in the measurements. Several new-generation retrieval approaches have recently been proposed to address these challenges. These methods use improved forward modeling of atmospheric (polarized) radiances and implement a search in the continuous space of solutions using rigorous statistically optimized inversions. Such techniques provide more accurate retrievals of the main aerosol parameters such as aerosol optical thickness and yield additional parameters such as aerosol absorption. However, the operational implementation of advanced retrieval approaches generally requires a significant extra effort, and the forward-modeling part of such retrievals still needs to be substantially improved.

Ground-based passive polarimetric measurements have also been evolving over the past decade. Although polarimetry helps improve aerosol characterization, especially of the fine aerosol mode, the operators of major observational networks such as AERONET remain reluctant to include polarimetric measurements as part of routine retrievals owing to their high complexity and notable increase in effort required to acquire and interpret polarization data.

In addition to remote-sensing observations, polarimetric characteristics of aerosol scattering have been measured in situ as well as in the laboratory using polar nephelometers. Such measurements constitute direct observations of single scattering with no contributions from multiple scattering effects and therefore provide unique data for the validation of aerosol optical models and retrieval concepts.

This article overviews the above-mentioned polarimetric observations, their history and expected developments, and the state of resulting aerosol products. It also discusses the main achievements and challenges in the exploitation of polarimetry for the improved characterization of atmospheric aerosols.

Export citation: [ BibTeX ] [ RIS ]

BibTeX Citation

  author={Dubovik, O. and Li, Z. and Mishchenko, M. I. and Tanré, D. and Karol, Y. and Bojkov, B. and Cairns, B. and Diner, D. J. and Espinosa, W. R. and Goloub, P. and Gu, X. and Hasekamp, O. and Hong, J. and Hou, W. and Knobelspiesse, K. D. and Landgraf, J. and Li, L. and Litvinov, P. and Liu, Y. and Lopatin, A. and Marbach, T. and Maring, H. and Martins, V. and Meijer, Y. and Milinevsky, G. and Mukai, S. and Parol, F. and Qiao, Y. and Remer, L. and Rietjens, J. and Sano, I. and Stammes, P. and Stamnes, S. and Sun, X. and Tabary, P. and Travis, L. D. and Waquet, F. and Xu, F. and Yan, C. and Yin, D.},
  title={Polarimetric remote sensing of atmospheric aerosols: instruments, methodologies, results, and perspectives},
  journal={J.  Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer},

[ Close ]

RIS Citation

ID  - du08100s
AU  - Dubovik, O.
AU  - Li, Z.
AU  - Mishchenko, M. I.
AU  - Tanré, D.
AU  - Karol, Y.
AU  - Bojkov, B.
AU  - Cairns, B.
AU  - Diner, D. J.
AU  - Espinosa, W. R.
AU  - Goloub, P.
AU  - Gu, X.
AU  - Hasekamp, O.
AU  - Hong, J.
AU  - Hou, W.
AU  - Knobelspiesse, K. D.
AU  - Landgraf, J.
AU  - Li, L.
AU  - Litvinov, P.
AU  - Liu, Y.
AU  - Lopatin, A.
AU  - Marbach, T.
AU  - Maring, H.
AU  - Martins, V.
AU  - Meijer, Y.
AU  - Milinevsky, G.
AU  - Mukai, S.
AU  - Parol, F.
AU  - Qiao, Y.
AU  - Remer, L.
AU  - Rietjens, J.
AU  - Sano, I.
AU  - Stammes, P.
AU  - Stamnes, S.
AU  - Sun, X.
AU  - Tabary, P.
AU  - Travis, L. D.
AU  - Waquet, F.
AU  - Xu, F.
AU  - Yan, C.
AU  - Yin, D.
PY  - 2019
TI  - Polarimetric remote sensing of atmospheric aerosols: instruments, methodologies, results, and perspectives
JA  - J.  Quant. Spectrosc. Radiat. Transfer
VL  - 224
SP  - 474
EP  - 511
DO  - 10.1016/j.jqsrt.2018.11.024
ER  -

[ Close ]

• Return to 2019 Publications

• Return to Publications Homepage