Aerosol research is one of the nine cross-cutting themes of the Earth Sciences Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. AeroCenter is an interdisciplinary union of researchers at NASA Goddard and other organizations in the Washington DC metropolitan area (including NOAA, University of Maryland, and other insititutions) who are interested in many facets of atmospheric aerosols. Interests include aerosol effects on radiative transfer, clouds and precipitation, climate, the biosphere, and atmospheric chemistry the aerosol role in air quality and human health; and the atmospheric correction of aerosol blurring of satellite imagery of the ground. Our regular activities include strong collaborations among aerosol community, informal weekly AeroCenter Forum (seminars, discussions, posters, and paper reviews) and annual aerosol research update.

If you like to join AeroCenter, please contact to AeroCenter committees, or go to the list server.


AeroCenter seminar series

We hold biweekly seminars on aerosol-related topics. Seminars are on Tuesdays at 11:00 am at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, building 33, room G133. If you are interested in showing your research during one of our seminars, please contact the AeroCenter committee:

Valentina Aquila , David Giles, Simone Lolli, Yingxi Shi.


AeroCenter Highlights

We are pleased to announce that the ‘Deep Blue’ aerosol project now has its own website: http://deepblue.gsfc.nasa.gov/. The site is intended to act as a single resource for the various current and forthcoming Deep Blue satellite aerosol data products (e.g. SeaWiFS, MODIS, VIIRS). It includes information and links related to the data products, such as file formats, publications, and data access locations, as well as some background information on aerosols and aerosol remote sensing for the non-specialist. There is also an RSS feed, to which you can subscribe for updates relating to the project, such as new publications or data versions. The page was put together with the support of three interns from NASA’s high school internship program. Please feel free to get in touch with Andy Sayer if you have any comments or questions about the website, or Deep Blue in general.

Recent Publications

Gassó, S. and Torres, O., 2016. The role of cloud contamination, aerosol layer height and aerosol model in the assessment of the OMI near-UV retrievals over the ocean, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 3031-3052, doi:10.5194/amt-9-3031-2016.

Aerosol optical depths derived by the OMI near-UV algorithm are evaluated against independent observations over the ocean. The comparison resulted in differences within the expected levels of uncertainty. In addition, in clear sky conditions, the retrieved AODs compare well with independent measurements but they are biased high in partially cloud-contaminated pixels. Additional sources of discrepancies are documented and will be corrected in future versions of the algorithm.

Jones, A. C., J. M. Haywood, A. Jones, V. Aquila. 2016. Sensitivity of volcanic aerosol dispersion to meteorological conditions: a Pinatubo case study, J. Geophys. Res., in press, doi: 10.1002/2016JD025001.

In this paper we use the global climate model (HadGEM2-CCS) to test the sensitivity of volcanic aerosol plume dispersion to meteorological conditions, finding that the dispersion of the volcanic aerosol is highly sensitive to the ambient meteorology for low altitude eruptions (16-18 km). Conversely, a high altitude eruption scenario (19-29 km) exhibits low meteorological variability. Our results have direct implications for the accurate simulation of past/future volcanic eruptions and volcanically-forced climate changes, such as Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone displacement.

Kahn, R.A., A. M. Sayer, Z. Ahmad, and B. Franz, 2016. How Aerosol Amount and Type Affect SeaWiFS Ocean Color Retrievals. J. Atm. Ocean Tech. 33 (6), doi:10.1175/JTECH-D-15-0121.1.

The main results of this paper are:

  1. Aerosol amount and type anomalies in the SeaWiFS atmospheric correction algorithm alias the derived water-leaving reflectance (R_rs).
  2. Although the SeaWiFS empirical chlorophyll-a (Chl) retrieval algorithm can compensate for much of the R_rs anomaly under oligotrophic conditions when only non-absorbing aerosol at low AOD are present, under other circumstances, including those where absorbing dust, smoke, pollution, or volcanic particles occur in the atmospheric column, the Chl values derived with the algorithm will likely be aliased.  This issue would apply over some of the most productive coastal waters, and along major aerosol transport pathways over ocean.
  3. Although this result arises from a statistical analysis of SeaWiFS-AERONET coincident observations, and has been shown in a handful of case studies from field experiment, there remains a lack of validation data where independent R_rs, Chl, AOD, and aerosol type measurements are made, coincident with satellite ocean color observations (e.g., from MODIS), in situations where absorbing aerosols are present.  Such data are needed to *quantify* the effects of atmospheric characterization errors on Chl retrievals and the specific AOD and aerosol-type accuracies required to obtain the desired OC results at the key spectral bands used in the retrievals.


Dr. Yoram Kaufman



CPC-AeroCenter seminar: Galina (Gala) Wind
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

We have released the MODIS Above-Cloud Aerosol Optical Properties product (MOD_PRACAERO) as a Near Real Time (NRT) product in the LANCE system to be used during the ORACLES field campaign. We perfo…

AEROCENTER: Valentina Aquila
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Aerocenter iCal

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AeroCenter Ex Officio