Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Hiren T Jethva

(Senior Research Scientist)

Hiren T Jethva's Contact Card & Information.
Phone: 301.614.5225
Org Code: 614
Mail Code 614
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Brief Bio

Dr. Jethva has spent more than a decade in learning, developing, and validating the satellite-based aerosol retrieval from different sensors on board NASA’s EOS satellites. His Ph.D. thesis investigation (2008) was focused on analyzing aerosol patterns using ground and satellite measurements and suggesting improvements to the NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) operational aerosol retrieval over the Indian region. During his postdoctoral fellowship (2009-2011) at the Hampton University, Hampton, VA, USA, he evaluated the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) operational aerosol products and provided critical suggestions towards improving the algorithm. Since 2011 and under the NASA/USRA’s GESTAR program, and now with Morgan State University as a senior research scientist under GESTAR-II, he is responsible to upkeep, maintain, and validate the OMI aerosol product as well as develop innovative algorithms for characterizing aerosols above clouds. He has played a lead role in developing the near-UV and visible-based techniques for the quantitative retrieval of the above-cloud aerosols from OMI, MODISDSCOVR-EPIC, and S5p-TropOMI observations.

Research Interests

Remote Sensing of Atmospheric Aerosols and Clouds

Earth Science: Aerosols

Radiative Transfer in Atmosphere

Earth Science: Aerosols

Cloud-Aerosols Interactions

Earth Science: Aerosols

Above-cloud Aerosols

Earth Science: Aerosols

Biomass burning and air quality

Earth Science: Aerosols

Current Projects

An Unified Aerosol Algorithm for PACE Ocean Color Instrument


PACE Validation Science Project for validating aerosol single-scattering albedo using ground-based UV-MFRSR sensor


Comprehensive characterization of absorbing aerosols above clouds from the synergy of CALIOP-OMI-MODIS


Aura/OMI and S5p-TROPOMI Aerosol Science Project


Hourly global Aerosol Index and aerosol particle properties using EPIC observations


MEaSUREs Aerosol Project


TEMPO Aerosol Group



Senior Research Scientist under UMBC-MSU-NASA GSFC Cooperative Agreement GESTAR-II

Morgan State University - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

December 2021 - Present

Job Responsibilities
• Re-visiting the current status of the operational OMI two-channel aerosol algorithm
• Refine the current aerosol models and surface parameterization assumed in the algorithm
• Generate look-up-tables for the OMI operational aerosol retrievals
• Validation of the operational OMI aerosol product
• Developed a new innovative technique to detect as well as quantitatively derive aerosols optial depth and spectral aerosol absorption for above-cloud aerosols scenes from OMI observations
• Develop a global OMI opertational algorithm for above-cloud aerosol retrieval
• Perform an analysis on the availability and quality of aerosol retrieval from from future sensors TEMPO and GEO-CAPE using MODIS observations

Research Scientist (Earth Sciences)

Universities Space Research Association - NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

October 2011 - November 2021

Post-doctoral Fellow

Dept. Atmospheric & Planetary Sciences Hampton University - Hampton, VA, USA

January 2009 - September 2011


Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India July 2008
Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science
Thesis Title: “An Investigation on Role of Surface Reflectance and Aerosol
Model in Remote Sensing of Aerosols from Moderate-Resolution Imaging
Spectroradiometer over India”
Thesis Advisors: Prof. J. Srinivasan & Prof. S. K. Satheesh
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India July 2003

M.Sc. (Engg.) in Atmospheric Science
Thesis Title: “Comparison of Microwave Radiative Transfer Models
and Retrieval of Humidity from Satellite Microwave Data”
Thesis Advisor: Prof. J. Srinivasan

Sardar Patel University, V. V. Nagar, Gujarat, India August 1999
Bachelor of Engineering (B. E.) in Mechanical Engineering


Best Senior Author Publication award conferred by NASA for the outstanding work in the development of a remote sensing approach to retrieve optical depth of aerosols above clouds using MODIS visible observations.

Best Science Highlight award conferred by NASA for the April 2017 Science Highlights titled as "A Global Decadal Record of Optical Depth of Absorbing Aerosols above Clouds from OMI's Near-UV Observations"

Professional Service

Dr. Jethva, alongwith Drs. Omar Torres and Eric Wilcox, organized a session entitled "Aerosols above Clouds" during 2013 AGU Fall Meeting held in San Francisco in December 2013.


A one-and-half decade long global characterization of absorbing aerosols over clouds and sea-ice/snow using a synergy of Atrain sensors OMI, CALIOP, MODIS, and CERES

2019 Aura Science Team - NASA - Awarded: 0000-00-00

Selected Publications


2023. "Extreme Smog Challenge of India Intensified by Increasing Lower Tropospheric Stability." Geophysical Research Letters 50 (11): [10.1029/2023gl103105] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Assessing predictability of post-monsoon crop residue fires in Northwestern India." Frontiers in Earth Science 10 [10.3389/feart.2022.1047278] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Estimating Spectral Effects of Absorbing Aerosols on Backscattered UV Radiation." Earth and Space Science 9 (12): [10.1029/2022ea002354] [Journal Article/Letter]

2022. "Retrieval of UV–visible aerosol absorption using AERONET and OMI–MODIS synergy: spatial and temporal variability across major aerosol environments." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 15 (4): 845-877 [10.5194/amt-15-845-2022] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Evaluation of Aerosol Properties Observed by DSCOVR/EPIC Instrument From the Earth‐Sun Lagrange 1 Orbit." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 126 (12): [10.1029/2020jd033651] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "AEROCOM and AEROSAT AAOD and SSA study – Part 1: Evaluation and intercomparison of satellite measurements." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 21 (9): 6895-6917 [10.5194/acp-21-6895-2021] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "Retrievals of Aerosol Optical Depth and Spectral Absorption From DSCOVR EPIC." Frontiers in Remote Sensing 2 [10.3389/frsen.2021.645794] [Journal Article/Letter]

2021. "A new measurement approach for validating satellite-based above-cloud aerosol optical depth." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 14 (2): 1405-1423 [10.5194/amt-14-1405-2021] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "TROPOMI aerosol products: evaluation and observations of synoptic-scale carbonaceous aerosol plumes during 2018–2020." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 13 (12): 6789-6806 [10.5194/amt-13-6789-2020] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "An AeroCom–AeroSat study: intercomparison of satellite AOD datasets for aerosol model evaluation." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 20 (21): 12431-12457 [10.5194/acp-20-12431-2020] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Stratospheric Injection of Massive Smoke Plume from Canadian Boreal Fires in 2017 as seen by DSCOVR‐EPIC, CALIOP and OMPS‐LP Observations." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres [10.1029/2020jd032579] [Journal Article/Letter]

2020. "Merging regional and global aerosol optical depth records from major available satellite products." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 20 (4): 2031-2056 [10.5194/acp-20-2031-2020] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Connecting Crop Productivity, Residue Fires, and Air Quality over Northern India." Scientific Reports 9 (1): 16594 [Full Text] [10.1038/s41598-019-52799-x] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Accuracy assessment of MODIS land aerosol optical thickness algorithms using AERONET measurements over North America." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 12 (8): 4291-4307 [10.5194/amt-12-4291-2019] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Simulation of the transport, vertical distribution, optical properties and radiative impact of smoke aerosols with the ALADIN regional climate model during the ORACLES-2016 and LASIC experiments." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 19 (7): 4963-4990 [10.5194/acp-19-4963-2019] [Journal Article/Letter]

2019. "Towards a satellite formaldehyde – in situ hybrid estimate for organic aerosol abundance." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 19 (5): 2765-2785 [10.5194/acp-19-2765-2019] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "A 12-year long global record of optical depth of absorbing aerosols above the clouds derived from the OMI/OMACA algorithm." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 11 (10): 5837-5864 [10.5194/amt-11-5837-2018] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Impact of the ozone monitoring instrument row anomaly on the long-term record of aerosol products." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 11 (5): 2701-2715 [10.5194/amt-11-2701-2018] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Comparisons of spectral aerosol single scattering albedo in Seoul, South Korea." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 11 (4): 2295-2311 [10.5194/amt-11-2295-2018] [Journal Article/Letter]

2018. "Agricultural Burning and Air Quality over Northern India: A Synergistic Analysis using NASA’s A-train Satellite Data and Ground Measurements." Aerosol and Air Quality Research 18 (7): 1756-1773 [10.4209/aaqr.2017.12.0583] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "Simulation of Optical Properties and Direct and Indirect Radiative Effects of Smoke Aerosols Over Marine Stratocumulus Clouds During Summer 2008 in California With the Regional Climate Model RegCM." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 122 (19): 10,312-10,337 [10.1002/2017jd026905] [Journal Article/Letter]

2017. "What factors control the trend of increasing AAOD over the United States in the last decade?." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 122 (3): 1797-1810 [10.1002/2016jd025472] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Impacts of brown carbon from biomass burning on surface UV and ozone photochemistry in the Amazon Basin." Nature Scientific Reports 6 36940 [10.1038/srep36940] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Validating MODIS above-cloud aerosol optical depth retrieved from “color ratio” algorithm using direct measurements made by NASA's airborne AATS and 4STAR sensors." Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 9 (10): 5053-5062 [10.5194/amt-9-5053-2016] [Journal Article/Letter]

2016. "Indonesian fire activity and smoke pollution in 2015 show persistent nonlinear sensitivity to El Niño-induced drought." Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113 (33): 9204-9209 [10.1073/pnas.1524888113] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Remote sensing of above cloud aerosols." Light Scattering Reviews 9 167-210 [Article in Book]

2014. "Global assessment of OMI aerosol single-scattering albedo using ground-based AERONET inversion." J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 119 (14): 9020-9040 [10.1002/2014JD021672] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "Assessment of OMI near-UV aerosol optical depth over land." J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 119 (5): 2457–2473 [10.1002/2013JD020188] [Journal Article/Letter]

2014. "How do A-train sensors intercompare in the retrieval of above-cloud aerosol optical depth? A case study-based assessment." Geophys. Res. Lett. 41 (1): 186–192 [10.1002/2013GL058405] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "A color ratio method for simultaneous retrieval of aerosol and cloud optical thickness of above-cloud absorbing aerosols from passive sensors: Application to MODIS measurements." IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing Vol 51 (7): 3862 - 3870 [10.1109/TGRS.2012.2230008] [Journal Article/Letter]

2013. "A seasonal trend of single scattering albedo in southern African biomass-burning particles: Implications for satellite products and estimates of emissions for the world's largest biomass-burning source." J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 118 (12): 6414-6432 [10.1002/jgrd.50500] [Journal Article/Letter]

2012. "Retrieval of Aerosol Optical Depth above Clouds from OMI Observations: Sensitivity Analysis and Case Studies." Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 69 (3): 1037-1053 [10.1175/JAS-D-11-0130.1] [Journal Article/Letter]

2011. "Satellite-based evidence of wavelength-dependent aerosol absorption in biomass burning smoke inferred from Ozone Monitoring Instrument." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 11 (20): 10541-10551 [10.5194/acp-11-10541-2011] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "Improved retrieval of aerosol size-resolved properties from moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer over India: Role of aerosol model and surface reflectance." Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmosphere 115 (D18213): [10.1029/2009JD013218] [Journal Article/Letter]

2010. "OMI and MODIS observations of the anomalous 2008–2009 Southern Hemisphere biomass burning seasons." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 10 (8): 3505-3513 [10.5194/acp-10-3505-2010] [Journal Article/Letter]

2009. "How Good is the Assumption about Visible Surface Reflectance in MODIS Aerosol Retrieval over Land? A Comparison with Aircraft Measurements over an Urban Site in India." IEEE Trans. Geosci. Rem. Sens. 47 (7): [10.1109/TGRS.2008.2010221] [Journal Article/Letter]

2007. "Evaluation of Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Collection 004 (C004) Aerosol Retrievals at Kanpur, Indo-Gangetic Basin,." J. Geophys. Res 112 (D14216): [10.1029/2006JD007929] [Journal Article/Letter]

2007. "Assessment of Second-generation MODIS Aerosol Retrieval (Collection 005) at Kanpur, India." Geophys. Res. Lett. 34 (L19802): [10.1029/2007GL029647] [Journal Article/Letter]

2006. "Systematic Bias in MODIS Aerosol Retrieval at Kanpur (AERONET), Indo-Gangetic Basin." Proc. SPIE 6408, Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Clouds 6408 [10.1117/12.694952] [Proceedings]

2005. "Seasonal Variability of Aerosols over The Indo-Gangetic Basin." J. Geophy. Res 110 (D21204): [10.1029/2005JD005938] [Journal Article/Letter]

2004. "Role of Variations in Vertical Profiles of Relative Humidity on the Retrieval of Humidity from AMSU-B Data." Geophys. Res. Lett 31 (L23109): [10.1029/2004GL021098] [Journal Article/Letter]


2016. "A ten-year global record of absorbing aerosols above clouds from OMI's near-UV observations." Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere, Clouds, and Precipitation VI [10.1117/12.2225765] [Proceedings]

2015. "Interactive comment on “Investigating the frequency and trends in global above-cloud aerosol characteristics with CALIOP and OMI” by R. Alfaro-Contreras et al." Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss. 15 C1488-C1496 [Journal Article/Letter]

Selected Public Outreach

Hazardous Pre-Monsoon Dust Pollution

July 2018 - July 2018

An Image of The Day (IOTD) article about pre-monsoon dust storm over northern India.

NASA data shows no reduction in crop fires, 2016 worst year

2017 - 2017

Complete URL:

Using Satellites to Size Up the Severity of Crop Fires in Northern India

March 2017 - March 2017

Complete URL:

Hazy Winter

2016 - 2016

Crop fires in Punjab and Pak. fuelled Delhi pollution

December 2016 - December 2016

Complete URL:

Studying Smoke Above the Clouds

June 2016 - June 2016

Seasons of Indian Air Quality

December 2014 - December 2014

Smoke Above the Clouds

November 2014 - November 2014

Smoke Goes Around the World

August 2015 - August Present

A Smoky Cloud Swirl

October 2023 - October 2023

Talks, Presentations and Posters


Connecting Crop Productivity, Residue Burning, and Air Quality over Northern India

April 15, 2019

March 2019

Workshop on Confronting Air Pollution at its Source

A project sponsored by the North India Office, U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.

Organized by RTI International and U. S. Embassy in New Delhi


A 12-year Global Record of Above-cloud Aerosol Optical Depth Retrieved from OMI

October 2017

2017 OMI Science Team Meeting
NASA Goddard, Greenbelt, MD, USA
Sep 2017

Evaluation of visible AOD retrievals over the North America using MODIS algorithms 

October 2017

TEMPO Aerosol Workshop

College Park, MD USA

Sep 2017

A Global, Decadal, and Quantitative Record of Absorbing Aerosols above Cloud Derived Using OMI’s Near-UV Observations in Conjunction with NASA’s A-train Sensors

May 2017

A-train Symposium

Pasadena, CA, USA

Apr 2017

A Global, Decadal, and Quantitative Record of Absorbing Aerosols above Cloud from OMI’s Near-UV Observations 


2016 Fall Meeting of AGU

San Francisco, CA, USA

Dec 2016

A ten-year global record of absorbing aerosols above clouds from OMI's near-UV observations 

July 2016

2016 Yoram Kaufman Symposium

NASA Goddard, Greenbelt, MD, USA

June 2016

A ten-year global record of absorbing aerosols above clouds from OMI's near-UV observations

May 2016

10th SPIE Asia-Pacific Remote Sensing Symposium

New Delhi, India

Apr 2016

Ten-Year Global Record of Aerosol Optical Depth Above Cloud from OMI Observations

September 2015

EOS Aura-OMI Science Team Meeting

De Bilt, The Netherlands

Aug 2015

Validating Above-cloud Aerosol Optical Depth Retrieved from MODIS using NASA Ames Airborne Sun Tracking Photometric and Spectrometric (AATS and 4STAR) Measurements 


2014 Fall Meeting of AGU

San Francisco, CA USA

Dec 2014

Retrieval, Inter-comparison, and Validation of Above-cloud Aerosol Optical Depth from A-train Sensors 

November 2014

13th AEROCOM Workshop

Steamboat Springs, CO USA

Oct 2014

Global Assessment of OMI Aerosol Single-scattering Albedo Using Ground-based AERONET and SKYNET Inversions

October 2014

EOS Aura Science Team Meeting

NASA Goddard, Greenbelt, MD USA

Sep 2014

9-year Record of OMI Aerosol Observations

July 2014

2014 AEROCENTER Annual Update

NASA Goddard, Greenbelt, MD USA

June 2014

How do A-train Sensors Inter-Compare in the Retrieval of Above-Cloud Aerosol Optical Depth? A Case Study based Assessment 


2013 Fall Meeting of American Geophysical Union

San Francisco, CA USA

Dec 2013

Above-cloud Absorbing Aerosols: Global Frequency of Occurrence from OMI Observations and A-train Inter-sensor Comparison of Above-cloud Aerosol Optical Depth 

June 2013

2013 AEROCENTER Annual Update

NASA Goddard, Greenbelt, MD USA

May 2013

Absorbing Aerosols Above Cloud: Detection, Quantitative Retrieval, and Radiative Forcing from Satellite-based Passive Sensors 


2012 Fall Meeting of American Geophysical Union

San Francisco, CA USA

Dec 2012

Characterizing Aerosols above Cloud using Satellite-based UV and Visible Measurements 

November 2012

EOS Aura Science Team Meeting

Pasadena, CA USA

Oct 2012

Comparative Analysis of OMI/OMAERUV and AERONET Retrieval of Single-scattering Albedo in Dust and Biomass burning Environments


2011 Fall Meeting of American Geophysical Union

San Francisco, CA USA

Dec 2011

Retrieving Aerosol Optical Depth above Clouds using OMI Observations 

August 2011

Gordon Research Conference

Colby College, ME, USA

July 2011

Satellite-based Evidence of Wavelength-dependent Aerosol Absorption in Biomass Burning Smoke inferred from OMI 

August 2010

2010 Asia-Oceania Geoscience Society

Hyderabad, India

July 2010

Evidence of the presence of Organics in Biomass Burning Aerosols over South America through Inter-comparison of OMI-AERONET Data 


2009 Fall Meeting of American Geophysical Union 

San Francisco, CA USA

Dec 2009

Near-UV Remote Sensing of Spectral Aerosol Absorption using OMI Measurements 

September 2009

NASA ACE Decadal Survey Meeting 

Santa Fe, NM USA

Aug 2009

Role of Aerosol Model and Surface Reflectance in MODIS Aerosol Retrieval at Kanpur, India 

December 2007

Aerosol-Chemistry-Climate Interactions Symposium

Ahmedabad, India

Nov 2007

Systematic bias in MODIS dust aerosol retrieval at Kanpur (AERONET), Indo-Gangetic Basin 

July 2006

5th SPIE Asia-Pacific Remote Sensing Symposium

Goa, India

June 2006

Seasonal Variability of Aerosols over the Indo-Gangetic Basin

July 2005

2nd Asia-Oceania Geoscience Society Annual Meeting


June 2005

Retrieval of Relative Humidity from AMSU-B Data 

July 2004

India-US Space Conference

Bengaluru, India

June 2004