2008-11-14: Earth surface reflectance climatology from 3 years of OMI data

The reflectance of the Earth surface is a critical parameter for satellite retrievals of the atmospheric trace gases, clouds and aerosols. Also, it is often a critial parameter to describe the radiation balance in climate models. Kleipool et al. [2008] used three years of data from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) to derive the surface reflectance of the globe on a 0.5 by 0.5 degree grid for every month of the year. The reflectance is given for 23 wavelengths between 328 and 500 nm. The data compares well with existing albedo climatologies derived from other satellite instruments (TOMS, GOME, MODIS), and significantly improves on these data sets by better spectral and/or spatial resolution.
Kleipool et al. derived the surface reflectance for each grid cel by a statistical analysis of the histogram of all surface reflectance values encountered during the three years, covering a wide range of cloud cover situations. The classisical approach is to assume that the minimum value represents the cloud free situation. In this work a slightly higher value is used to take darkening by aerosol into account.
Composite color image based on the absolute mission minimum LER. Residual cloud structures are visible over the northern part of South America, Southeast Asia, China, and central Africa.