Estimation of aerosol direct radiative effects for all-sky conditions from CERES and MODIS observations

Hye Ryun Oh, Yong Sang Choi, Chang Hoi Ho, Myeong Jae Jeong

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11 Scopus citations


Satellite observations have shown the global average of the aerosol direct radiative effect (DRE) at the top of the atmosphere to be approximately -5.0Wm-2. Although there is a general consensus on this quantity, it is essentially biased toward clear-sky conditions. To circumvent this limitation, the present study introduces a new method for retrieving the global DRE of aerosol over the region of 60°S-60°N for all-sky conditions (both clear and cloudy skies). The all-sky DRE was calculated on a monthly basis by combining the measured DRE for a clear sky and the simulated DRE for a cloudy sky in 1°×1° grids. For the measured clear-sky DRE, we employed aerosol, cloud, and radiation fluxes from the Cloud and Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard the Terra satellite for May 2000-December 2005. For the simulated cloudy-sky DRE, we performed radiative transfer modeling with the MODIS cloud properties in addition to the aerosol optical properties independently estimated in this study that include asymmetry factor and single scattering albedo. The results show that the global mean±standard deviation of DRE for the all-sky scene is -3.1±1.0Wm-2, which is weaker than that for the clear-sky only. This is in good agreement with the global estimates from previous studies based on different methods. The main advantage of our method is near-real-time estimation of monthly global all-sky DRE that has physical consistency with the CERES data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-320
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by Korea Ministry of Environment as “Climate Change Correspondence R&D Program”. Choi, Y.-S. was supported by the Korean Ministry of Environment as part of the Eco-Innovation Project .


  • All-sky aerosol direct radiative effect
  • Cloud
  • Satellite observation


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