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Correlation Analysis between AOD and Cloud Parameters to Study Their Relationship over China Using MODIS Data (2003–2013): Impact on Cloud Formation and Climate Change

Category: Optical/Radiative Properties and Remote Sensing

Volume: 15 | Issue: 3 | Pages: 958-973
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2014.08.0168
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Na Kang, Kanike Raghavendra Kumar , Yan Yin, Yiwei Diao, Xingna Yu

  • Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of China Meteorological Administration, School of Atmospheric Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, Jiangsu, China


We reported the relationship between AOD and cloud parameters over China.
High AOD550 noticed during summer/spring period and low in the winter.
WV and CF exhibited positive correlation with AOD.
Strong negative correlation found between AOD and CER over oceanic regions.
COT, CTP and CTT decreases with increase in AOD and vice-versa.


In the present study, we examined the spatial and temporal variations in aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 550 nm and its relationship with various cloud parameters derived from the Moderate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor onboard Terra satellite. The data have been analyzed for the period of 10-years between March 2003 and February 2013 over 12 major cities in China. The results revealed that high AOD noticed over low latitude regions influenced with high anthropogenic activities and the low AOD observed for the high altitude and mountainous areas, since AOD accounts for the slant path which reduces the aerosol emissions. In addition, the aerosol variations in the atmosphere are complicated by several factors in emissions (natural and anthropogenic) as well as stagnant synoptic meteorology. From the temporal studies, it is clear that the maximum AOD was found during summer followed by spring and autumn with a minimum AOD in winter season for all the regions of study in China. Furthermore, we studied the relationship between AOD versus water vapor (WV), cloud fraction (CF), cloud optical thickness (COT), cloud effective radius (CER), cloud top pressure (CTP), and cloud top temperature (CTT) for the selected regions in China. Additionally, regression analysis and one paired student’s t-Test were applied to represent the probability of data significant at 95% confidence for the derived AOD values and cloud parameters in order to provide a better understanding of aerosol-cloud interaction.


MODIS China Aerosol optical depth Cloud parameters Correlation coefficient

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