BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

A New Approach for Measuring Aerosols on Cloudy Days
Published: October 13, 2008
Posted: January 27, 2009

Researchers in the DOE's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program developed a technique that may dramatically improve the accuracy (up to ten-fold) of aerosol concentration measurements from satellites on partly cloudy days. Clouds reflect almost the same amount of sunlight in the visible spectral range regardless of the wavelength of light. As a result, ratios of sunlight reflectance at different wavelengths can substantially eliminate the contaminating impact of clouds on aerosol measurements. This new technique, which combines measurements of reflected sunlight at several wavelengths, is a potential new research tool to study the complex and important relationship between aerosols and clouds and to estimate their impact on the regional and global climates.


Kassianov, E.I., and M. Ovtchinnikov. 2008. "On reflectance ratios and aerosol optical depth retrieval in the presence of cumulus clouds." Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2008GL033231.

Contact: Kiran Alapaty, SC-23.1, (301) 903-3175
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research

Division: SC-33.1 Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, BER


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Jan 11, 2022
No Honor Among Copper Thieves
Findings provide a novel means to manipulate methanotrophs for a variety of environmental and in [more...]

Dec 06, 2021
New Genome Editing Tools Can Edit Within Microbial Communities
Two new technologies allow scientists to edit specific species and genes within complex laborato [more...]

Oct 27, 2021
Fungal Recyclers: Fungi Reuse Fire-Altered Organic Matter
Degrading pyrogenic (fire-affected) organic matter is an important ecosystem function of fungi i [more...]

Oct 19, 2021
Microbes Offer a Glimpse into the Future of Climate Change
Scientists identify key features in microbes that predict how warming affects carbon dioxide emi [more...]

Aug 25, 2021
Assessing the Production Cost and Carbon Footprint of a Promising Aviation Biofuel
Biomass-derived DMCO has the potential to serve as a low-carbon, high-performance jet fuel blend [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)