Zuckerman Israeli Postdoc Scholar (alum) Aviad Levis publishes paper in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
Our global understanding of clouds and aerosols relies on the remote sensing of their optical, microphysical, and macrophysical properties using, in part, scattered solar radiation. These retrievals assume that clouds and aerosols form plane-parallel, homogeneous layers and utilize 1D radiative transfer (RT) models, limiting the detail that can be retrieved about the 3D variability in cloud and aerosol fields and inducing biases in the retrieved properties for highly heterogeneous structures such as cumulus clouds and smoke plumes. To overcome these limitations, we introduce and validate an algorithm for retrieving the 3D optical or microphysical properties of atmospheric particles using multi-angle, multi-pixel radiances and a 3D RT model. The retrieval software, which we have made publicly available, is called Atmospheric Tomography with 3D Radiative Transfer (AT3D). It uses an iterative, local optimization technique to solve a generalized least squares problem and thereby find a best-fitting atmospheric state. The iterative retrieval uses a fast, approximate Jacobian calculation, which we have extended from Levis et al. (2020) to accommodate open and periodic horizontal boundary conditions (BCs) and an improved treatment of non-black surfaces.