Evaluate Aerosol Optical Depth Best Estimate Data Product

Published: 13 September 2023

Aerosol optical depths are shown from 1998 through 2018 for five wavelengths: 415 nm, 500 nm, 615 nm, 673 nm, and 870 nm.
These time series of combined aerosol optical depths (AODs) from the AODBE 5-channel product exhibit seasonal patterns with large and small AOD values during summer and winter, respectively, at ARM’s Southern Great Plains atmospheric observatory. The time series have gaps, which are likely associated with data quality issues and required upgrades and replacements of ground-based instruments measuring AOD.

New data are available from the Aerosol Optical Depth Best Estimate value-added product (AODBE VAP), previously known as Quality Control Aerosol Optical Depth (QCAOD). The VAP was renamed to better describe the data product.

AODBE combines individual AODs measured by four co-located instruments: two multifilter rotating shadowband radiometers, one normal incidence multifilter radiometer, and one Cimel sunphotometer. These instruments are deployed at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility’s Southern Great Plains atmospheric observatory. The combined AOD at a given time and wavelength is calculated as the average of overlapped individual AODs. The VAP also provides uncertainty assessment of the combined and individual AODs. 

The new AODBE 5-channel (AODBE5CH) product includes the combined and individual AODs and their uncertainties at five wavelengths (415, 500, 615, 673, and 870 nanometers). The product has been generated with high-quality, enhanced continuity and 1‑minute temporal resolution using temporal and spectral matching of the individual AODs.

Scientists can use the generated product to analyze variability of aerosol loading over multiple time scales and to demonstrate the importance of this variability in forcing climate change.

More information about AODBE5CH is available on the AODBE web page.

AODBE5CH data from January 15, 1997, to May 1, 2021, are ready to use now. Files are in netCDF format.

Access the new data in the ARM Data Center. (To download the data, create an ARM account.)

Feedback is requested to improve this evaluation product. If you have feedback or questions about the data, please contact AODBE’s lead developer, Gabe Gibler, or Evgueni Kassianov.

To cite the AODBE5CH data, please use doi:10.5439/1885158.

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ARM is a DOE Office of Science user facility operated by nine DOE national laboratories.