National Aeronautics and Space Administration


Date of this Version



Aerosol Science and Technology, 41:231–243, 2007


U.S. Government Work


For a vertical profile with three distinct layers (marine boundary, pollution, and dust layers), observed during the ACE-Asia campaign, we carried out a comparison between the modeled lidar ratio vertical profile and that obtained from co-located airborne NASA AATS-14 sunphotometer and shipborne Micro-Pulse Lidar (MPL) measurements. The vertically resolved lidar ratio was calculated from two size distribution vertical profiles—one obtained by inversion of sunphotometer-derived extinction spectra, and one measured in-situ—combined with the same refractive index model based on aerosol chemical composition. The aerosol model implies single scattering albedos of 0.78–0.81 and 0.93–0.96 at 0.523 μm (the wavelength of the lidar measurements), in the pollution and dust layers, respectively. The lidar ratios calculated from the two size distribution profiles agree closely in the dust layer; they are however, significantly lower than the lidar ratios derived from combined lidar and sunphotometer measurements. Uncertainties in aerosol size distributions and refractive index only partly explain these differences, suggesting that particle nonsphericity in this layer is an additional explanation. In the pollution layer, the two size distribution profiles yield lidar ratios that agree within the estimated uncertainties. The retrieved size distributions result in a lidar ratio which is in closer agreement with that derived from lidar/sunphotometer measurements in this layer, with still large differences at certain altitudes (the largest relative difference was 46%).We explain these differences by non-uniqueness of the result of the size distribution retrieval, by a lack of information on the mixing state of particles, and the vertical variability of the particle refractive index.