Quality assessment of Second-generation Global Imager (SGLI)-observed cloud properties using SKYNET surface observation data

Pradeep Khatri, Tadahiro Hayasaka, Hitoshi Irie, Husi Letu, Takashi Y. Nakajima, Hiroshi Ishimoto, Tamio Takamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Second-generation Global Imager (SGLI) onboard the Global Change Observation Mission - Climate (GCOM-C) satellite, launched on 23 December 2017, observes various geophysical parameters with the aim of better understanding the global climate system. As part of that aim, SGLI has great potential to unravel several uncertainties related to clouds by providing new cloud products along with several other atmospheric products related to cloud climatology, including aerosol products from polarization channels. However, very little is known about the quality of the SGLI cloud products. This study uses data about clouds and global irradiances observed from the Earth's surface using a sky radiometer and a pyranometer, respectively, to understand the quality of the two most fundamental cloud properties - cloud optical depth (COD) and cloud-particle effective radius (CER) - of both water and ice clouds. The SGLI-observed COD agrees well with values observed from the surface, although it agrees better for water clouds than for ice clouds, while the SGLI-observed CER exhibits poorer agreement than does the COD, with SGLI values being generally higher than the sky radiometer values. These comparisons between the SGLI and sky radiometer cloud properties are found to differ for different cloud types of both the water and ice cloud phases and different solar and satellite viewing angles by agreeing better for relatively uniform and flat cloud type and for relatively low solar zenith angle. Analyses of SGLI-observed reflectance functions and values calculated by assuming plane-parallel cloud layers suggest that SGLI-retrieved cloud properties can have biases in the solar and satellite viewing angles, similar to other satellite sensors including the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Furthermore, it is found that the SGLI-observed cloud properties reproduce global irradiances quite satisfactorily for both water and ice clouds by resembling several important features of the COD comparison, such as better agreement for water clouds than for ice clouds and the tendency to underestimate (resp. overestimate) the COD in SGLI observations for optically thick (resp. thin) clouds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1967-1982
Number of pages16
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar 31


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