A minimum albedo aerosol retrieval method for the new-generation geostationary meteorological satellite Himawari-8

Xing Yan, Zhanqing Li, Nana Luo, Wenzhong Shi, Wenji Zhao, Xingchuan Yang, Jiannan Jin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Aerosol properties, including aerosol optical thickness (AOT) and fine-mode fraction (FMF), are important physical data and are fundamental for climate studies. A minimum albedo aerosol retrieval method (MAARM) was developed for the retrieval of aerosol properties based on the new-generation geostationary meteorological satellite Himawari-8. This method is based on the albedo data which is directly obtained from the Himawari-8 and can successfully output AOT, FMF, and the Ångström exponent (AE) directly. As part of the MAARM, a modified radiative transfer equation was proposed that considers the impact of aerosol multiple scattering. Through comparisons with output from the Second Simulation of a Satellite Signal in the Solar Spectrum (6S) radiative transfer code, the modified radiative transfer equation achieved a high accuracy for the aerosol reflectance calculation (~5%). Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) data from three sites in Beijing and its surrounding area for the year 2016 were used to validate MAARM aerosol retrievals. Fifty-seven percent, 57%, and 56% of derived AOT values fell within the estimated error envelope at the Beijing, the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences (CAMS), and Xianghe AERONET stations, respectively. In addition, 36% (58%) of MAARM-derived FMF values fell within the ±10%AERONET FMF envelope (the ±25%AERONET FMF envelope). Overall, an improvement was achieved by the MAARM in retrieving AOT, FMF, and AE compared with Himawari-8 standard aerosol property retrievals; however, there remains a distinct lack of skills in determining FMF and AE and their use from the MAARM retrieval is not recommended at this time. Given that the Himawari-8 satellite provides observations at 10-min intervals, the MAARM is capable of monitoring the spatial distribution of and variation in AOT with a high temporal resolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-27
Number of pages14
JournalAtmospheric Research
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2018


  • AOT
  • Fine-mode fraction
  • Himawari-8
  • Radiative transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'A minimum albedo aerosol retrieval method for the new-generation geostationary meteorological satellite Himawari-8'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this