Climate & Radiation Branch Seminar: Robert Levy

Event Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Time: 3:30 PM

Synergy of Atmospheric Aerosol Information: The importance of "getting it right"

For nearly twelve years, MODIS has been providing accurate and comprehensive aerosol information used by the world's scientists, forecasters and decision  makers. The global community has taken what the MODIS Aerosol Team has  produced, and has made great strides in characterizing the global aerosol burden, and determining aerosol effects on climate, air quality, and global human and planetary health. My seminar will have two parts.

I) Just as the global community embraces the MODIS aerosol product for its coverage and quality, we find surprises in the data product that make us uncomfortable. As we look to reduce known biases and gear up for "Collection 6", we are tweaking the algorithm and making improvements. Yet it is becoming increasingly clear that as the MODIS sensors are aging, calibration-related artifacts are creeping in, resulting in statistically significant but artificial global trends. There are also differences between MODIS and other sensors' data products that we are attempting to characterize. These issues all demand attention, but by "getting it right"
for the MODIS product, we hope the experience can be applied to current aerosol research, as well as the next generation of aerosol knowledge.

II) At the same time, as we look inward to improve our MODIS algorithms and products, we continue to expand our GSFC and global collaboration. Keeping in the spirit of Yoram Kaufman, the AeroCenter community is continually Expanding and finding new opportunities to share our data and ideas. In the past year, we have witnessed aerosol events that have captured the world's
attention. Here we highlight AeroCenter's role, bringing together observations and modeling of the Icelandic volcano. Striving to "get it right" has made Goddard the world leader in aerosol research.