Aerosol research is one of the nine cross-cutting themes of the Earth Sciences Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. AeroCenter is an interdisciplinary union of researchers at NASA Goddard and other organizations in the Washington DC metropolitan area (including NOAA, University of Maryland, and other insititutions) who are interested in many facets of atmospheric aerosols. Interests include aerosol effects on radiative transfer, clouds and precipitation, climate, the biosphere, and atmospheric chemistry the aerosol role in air quality and human health; and the atmospheric correction of aerosol blurring of satellite imagery of the ground. Our regular activities include strong collaborations among aerosol community, informal weekly AeroCenter Forum (seminars, discussions, posters, and paper reviews) and annual aerosol research update.

If you like to join AeroCenter, please email one of the AeroCenter committee members or go to the list server.


AeroCenter seminar series

We hold biweekly seminars on aerosol-related topics. Seminars are on Tuesdays at 11:00 am at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, building 33, room G133. If you are interested in showing your research during one of our seminars, please contact the AeroCenter committee:

David Giles, Jasper LewisMelanie Follette-Cook, Yingxi Shi.


AeroCenter Highlights

We are pleased to announce that version 1 (V001) of the AVHRR Deep Blue aerosol data set is available. This provides aerosol optical depth at 550 nm and AVHRR band 1 (around 630 nm), among other quantities, using versions of the Deep Blue (DB) algorithm over land and Satellite Ocean Aerosol Retrieval (SOAR) algorithm over ocean. Version 1 consists of data from the following platforms:
- NOAA18 from 2006-2011
- NOAA14 from 1995-1999
- NOAA11 from 1989-1990
Note: this should be considered a demonstration research-level data product, still under validation, and comments/suggestions are welcome..
Level 2 data are provided in 5-minute granules, similar to MODIS, at approximately 8.8 km x 8.8 km pixel size at the sub-satellite point. Level 3 daily and monthly composites at 1 degree horizontal resolution are also available. All files are in NetCDF4 format, and compliant with CF version 1.6 metadata conventions.
The data set is available through the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) data portal:
- http access is at https://portal.nccs.nasa.gov/datashare/AVHRRDeepBlue  
- ftp access is at ftp://dataportal.nccs.nasa.gov  or ftp://nccs.nasa.gov  with username AVHRRDeepBlue and no password
A data product user guide is also available at the above link. Access is free and does not require registration. Algorithm and validation papers have been submitted and we are happy to discuss these in more detail. If you have any questions, comments, or problems, please feel free to get in touch: N. Christina Hsu (project PI), Jaehwa Lee, Andrew Sayer.

Recent Publications

Rajapakshe, C., Z. Zhang, J. E. Yorks, H. Yu, Q. Tan, K. Meyer, S. Platnick, and D. M. Winker (2017), Seasonally Transported Aerosol Layers over Southeast Atlantic are Closer to Underlying Clouds than Previously Reported, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, doi:10.1002/2017GL073559.

Two seasons of CATS 1064 nm observations reveal that the bottom of the above-cloud aerosol (ACA) layer in SE Atlantic region is much lower than previously estimated based on CALIPSO 532 nm observations. For about 60% of CATS nighttime ACA scenes, the aerosol layer base is within 360 m distance to the top of the underlying cloud. Our results are important for future studies of the microphysical indirect and semi-direct effects of ACA in the SE Atlantic region.

Sayer, A. M., N. C. Hsu, C. Bettenhausen, R. E. Holz, J. Lee, G. Quinn, and P. Veglio, Cross-calibration of S-NPP VIIRS moderate-resolution reflective solar bands against MODIS Aqua over dark water scenes, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 10, 1425-1444, doi:10.5194/amt-10-1425-2017.

The satellite instrument VIIRS is being used to carry on observations of the Earth made by older satellites like MODIS. Data sets created from these satellite observations depend on the quality of the satellite instruments' calibration. This paper describes a comparison between the calibration of these two sensors. MODIS is believed to be more reliable and so VIIRS is corrected to bring it in line with MODIS. These corrections are shown to improve the quality of VIIRS aerosol data.

Visioni, D., G. Pitari, and V. Aquila. Sulfate geoengineering: a review of the factors controlling the needed injection of sulfur dioxide. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 3879-3889, doi: 10.5194/acp-17-3879-2017 (2017).

This paper reviews the current research on geoengineering via injection of stratospheric sulfate. After reviewing the effects of such a sulfate injection on radiation, ozone, water vapor, methane, and cirrus formation, we describe the uncertainties that hinder the estimate of the amount of sulfate needed to counteract the warming due to increasing greenhouse gases.

Dr. Yoram Kaufman



AeroCenter - Peter Colarco
Tuesday, July 13, 2021

┬áDust Event (TBD)…

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AeroCenter Ex Officio