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Assessment of Global Cloud Datasets from Satellites: Project and Database Initiated by the GEWEX Radiation PanelClouds cover about 70% of the Earth's surface and play a dominant role in the energy and water cycle of our planet. Only satellite observations provide a continuous survey of the state of the atmosphere over the whole globe and across the wide range of spatial and temporal scales that comprise weather and climate variability. Satellite cloud data records now exceed more than 25 years in length. However, climatologies compiled from different satellite datasets can exhibit systematic biases. Questions therefore arise as to the accuracy and limitations of the various sensors. The Global Energy and Water cycle Experiment (GEWEX) Cloud Assessment, initiated in 2005 by the GEWEX Radiation Panel, provided the first coordinated intercomparison of publically available, standard global cloud products (gridded, monthly statistics) retrieved from measurements of multi-spectral imagers (some with multiangle view and polarization capabilities), IR sounders and lidar. Cloud properties under study include cloud amount, cloud height (in terms of pressure, temperature or altitude), cloud radiative properties (optical depth or emissivity), cloud thermodynamic phase and bulk microphysical properties (effective particle size and water path). Differences in average cloud properties, especially in the amount of high-level clouds, are mostly explained by the inherent instrument measurement capability for detecting and/or identifying optically thin cirrus, especially when overlying low-level clouds. The study of long-term variations with these datasets requires consideration of many factors. A monthly, gridded database, in common format, facilitates further assessments, climate studies and the evaluation of climate models.
Document ID
20120014334
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Authors
Stubenrauch, C. J.
(Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique du CNRS Palaiseau, France)
Rossow, W. B.
(CREST Institute at City College of New York New York, United States)
Kinne, S.
(Max-Planck-Inst. fuer Meteorologie Hamburg, Germany)
Ackerman, S.
(Wisconsin Univ. Madison, WI, United States)
Cesana, G.
(Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique du CNRS Palaiseau, France)
Chepfer, H.
(Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique du CNRS Palaiseau, France)
Getzewich, B.
(Science and System Application, Inc. Lanham, MD, United States)
Di Girolamo, L.
(Illinois Univ. Urbana-Champaign, IL, United States)
Guignard, A.
(Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique du CNRS Palaiseau, France)
Heidinger, A.
(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Madison, WI, United States)
Maddux, B.
(Wisconsin Univ. Madison, WI, United States)
Menzel, P.
(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Madison, WI, United States)
Minnis, P.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Pearl, C.
(CREST Institute at City College of New York New York, United States)
Platnick, S.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Riedi, J.
(Rutherford Appleton Lab. Chilton, United Kingdom)
Sun-Mack, S.
(Science and System Application, Inc. Lanham, MD, United States)
Walther, A.
(Wisconsin Univ. Madison, WI, United States)
Winker, D.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Zeng, S.
(Rutherford Appleton Lab. Chilton, United Kingdom)
Zhao, G.
(Illinois Univ. Urbana-Champaign, IL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 26, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2012
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Report/Patent Number
GSFC.JA.6911.2012
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.

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