Abstract

We present a sophisticated radiative transfer code for modeling outgoing IR radiation from planetary atmospheres and, conversely, for retrieving atmospheric properties from high-resolution nadir-observed spectra. The forward model is built around a doubling-adding routine and calculates, in a spherical refractive geometry, the outgoing radiation emitted by the Earth and the atmosphere containing one layer of aerosol. The inverse model uses an optimal estimation approach and can simultaneously retrieve atmospheric trace gases, aerosol effective radius, and concentration. It is different from existing codes, as most forward codes dealing with multiple scattering assume a plane-parallel atmosphere, and as for the retrieval, it does not rely on precalculated spectra, the use of microwindows, or two-step retrievals. The simultaneous retrieval on a broad spectral range exploits the full potential of current state-of-the-art hyperspectral IR sounders, such as AIRS and IASI, and should be particularly useful in studying major pollution events. We present five example retrievals of IASI spectra observed in the range from 800 to 1200cm1 above dust, volcanic ash, sulfuric acid, ice particles, and biomass burning aerosols.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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