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The Influence of Aerosols On Satellite Infrared Radiance Simulations and Jacobians: Numerical Experiments of Crtm and GSI


For a variational data assimilation (DA) system that assimilates radiance observations, the simulated brightness temperature (BT) at the top of the atmosphere and the corresponding Jacobians carried out by the radiance observation operator are needed information. Previous studies reported that the incorporation of aerosol information into the radiance observation operator leads to cooler simulated infrared (IR) BTs and warmer temperature analyses at low levels of the atmosphere. However, the role of the aerosol-affected Jacobians in the DA system, which not only affect the determination of analysis increments but also influence the quality control and the bias correction algorithm, is yet to be investigated. This study examines the aerosol impacts on the sensitivity of IR radiance simulations, Jacobians, and the analysis increments by conducting two experiments: (i) sensitivity tests to assess how the different aspects of the aerosol profiles (i.e., mass loading, peak aerosol level, aerosol thickness layer, and bin partition) affect the simulated BT and the Jacobians from the Community Radiative Transfer Model (CRTM), which is the radiance observation operator in the Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) analysis system; (ii) single IR observation experiments using GSI to investigate how the aerosol-affected atmospheric Jacobians influence the analysis increment. The results show that dust aerosols produce the strongest cooling to simulated BTs under similar aerosol optical depths; simulated BTs and Jacobians are most sensitive to the loading and peak altitude of the aerosol layer; simulated BTs become more sensitive to the temperature of the aerosol layer; aerosol-induced differences in atmospheric Jacobians lead to considerable changes to temperature and moisture increments. These results provide a better understanding of the aerosol impacts on each component involved in radiance DA, which can provide guidance for assimilating aerosol-affected IR observations.

Article / Publication Data
Available Metadata
Fiscal Year
Peer Reviewed
Publication Name
Remote Sensing
Published On
January 31, 2022
Publisher Name
Print Volume


Authors who have authored or contributed to this publication.

  • Shih-Wei Wei - lead None
  • Guoqing Ge - seventh Gsl
    Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder
    NOAA/Global Systems Laboratory
  • Ming Hu - eighth Gsl