A study on the aerosol extinction-to-backscatter ratio with combination of micro-pulse LIDAR and MODIS over Hong Kong
Abstract. The aerosol extinction-to-backscatter ratio is an important parameter for inverting LIDAR signals in the LIDAR equation. It is a complicated function of the aerosol microphysical characteristics. In this paper, a method to retrieve the column-averaged aerosol extinction-to-backscatter ratio by constraining the aerosol optical depths (AOD) from a Micro-pulse LIDAR (MPL) by the AOD measurements from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is presented. Both measurements were taken on cloud free days between 1 May 2003 and 30 June 2004 over Hong Kong, a coastal city in south China. Simultaneous measurements of aerosol scattering coefficients with a forward scattering visibility sensor are compared with the LIDAR retrieval of aerosol extinction coefficients. The data are then analyzed to determine seasonal trends of the aetrosol extinction-to-backscatter ratio. In addition, the relationships between the extinction-to-backscatter ratio and wind conditions as well as other aerosol microphysical parameters are presented. The mean aerosol extinction-to-backscatter ratio for the whole period was found to be 29.1±5.8 sr, with a minimum of 18 sr in July 2003 and a maximum of 44 sr in March 2004. The ratio is lower in summer because of the dominance of oceanic aerosols in association with the prevailing southwesterly monsoon. In contrast, relatively larger ratios are noted in spring and winter because of the increased impact of local and regional industrial pollutants associated with the northerly monsoon. The extended LIDAR measurements over Hong Kong provide not only a more accurate retrieval of aerosol extinction coefficient profiles, but also significant substantial information for air pollution and climate studies in the region.