NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Comparison of Marine Boundary Layer Cloud Properties from CERES-MODIS Edition 4 and DOE ARM AMF Measurements at the AzoresMarine boundary layer (MBL) cloud properties derived from the NASA Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) project using Terra and Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data are compared with observations taken at the Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Mobile Facility at the Azores (AMF-Azores) site from June 2009 through December 2010. Cloud properties derived from ARM ground-based observations were averaged over a 1 h interval centered at the satellite overpass time, while the CERES-MODIS (CM) results were averaged within a 30 km×30 km grid box centered over the Azores site. A total of 63 daytime and 92 nighttime single-layered overcast MBL cloud cases were selected from 19 months of ARM radar-lidar and satellite observations. The CM cloud top/base heights (Htop/Hbase) were determined from cloud top/base temperatures (Ttop/Tbase) using a regional boundary layer lapse rate method. For daytime comparisons, the CM-derived Htop (Hbase), on average, is 0.063 km (0.068 km) higher (lower) than its ARM radar-lidar-observed counterpart, and the CM-derived Ttop and Tbase are 0.9 K less and 2.5 K greater than the surface values with high correlations (R(sup 2) = 0.82 and 0.84, respectively). In general, the cloud top comparisons agree better than the cloud base comparisons, because the CM cloud base temperatures and heights are secondary products determined from cloud top temperatures and heights. No significant day-night difference was found in the analyses. The comparisons of MBL cloud microphysical properties reveal that when averaged over a 30 km× 30 km area, the CM-retrieved cloud droplet effective radius (re) at 3.7 micrometers is 1.3 micrometers larger than that from the ARM retrievals (12.8 micrometers), while the CM-retrieved cloud liquid water path (LWP) is 13.5 gm( exp -2) less than its ARM counterpart (114.2 gm( exp-2) due to its small optical depth (9.6 versus 13.7). The differences are reduced by 50% when the CM averages are computed only using the MODIS pixel nearest the AMF site. Using the effective radius retrieved using 2.1 micrometers channel to calculate LWP can reduce the difference between the CM and ARM microwave radiometer retrievals from 13.7 to 2.1 gm2. The 10% differences between the ARM and CERES-MODIS LWP and r(sub e) retrievals are within the uncertainties of the ARM LWP (approximately 20gm( exp -2)) and r(sub e) (approximately 10%) retrievals; however, the 30% difference in optical depth is significant. Possible reasons contributing to this discrepancy are increased sensitivities in optical depth from both surface retrievals when τ is approximately 10 and topography. The τ differences vary with wind direction and are consistent with the island orography.Much better agreement in τ is obtained when using only those data taken when the wind is from the northeast, where topographical effects on the sampled clouds are minimal.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Xi, Baike
(North Dakota Univ. Grand Forks, ND, United States)
Dong, Xiquan
(North Dakota Univ. Grand Forks, ND, United States)
Minnis, Patrick
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Sun-Mack, Sunny
(Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
March 11, 2015
Publication Date
August 7, 2014
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Volume: 119
Issue: 15
Subject Category
Meteorology And Climatology
Earth Resources And Remote Sensing
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 921266.04.07.07
Distribution Limits

Available Downloads

There are no available downloads for this record.
No Preview Available