Global ice cloud observations: radiative properties and statistics from moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer measurements

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Title: Global ice cloud observations: radiative properties and statistics from moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer measurements
Author: Meyer, Kerry Glynne
Abstract: Ice clouds occur quite frequently , yet so much about these clouds is unknown . In recent years , numerous investigations and field campaigns have been focused on the study of ice clouds , all with the ultimate goal of gaining a better understanding of microphysical and optical properties , as well as determining the radiative impact . Perhaps one of the most recognized instruments used for such research is the Moderate -resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS ) , carried aboard the NASA EOS satellites Terra and Aqua . The present research aims to support ongoing efforts in the field of ice cloud research by use of observations obtained from Terra and Aqua MODIS . First , a technique is developed to infer ice cloud optical depth from the MODIS cirrus reflectance parameter . This technique is based on a previous method developed by Meyer et al . (2004 ) . The applicability of the algorithm is demonstrated with retrievals from level -2 and -3 MODIS data . The technique is also evaluated with the operational MODIS cloud retrieval product and a method based on airborne ice cloud observations . From this technique , an archive of daily optical depth retrievals is constructed . Using simple statistics , the global spatial and temporal distributions of ice clouds are determined . Research has found that Aqua MODIS observes more frequent ice clouds and larger optical depths and ice water paths than does Terra MODIS . Finally , an analysis of the time series of daily optical depth values revealed that ice clouds at high latitudes , which are most likely associated with synoptic scale weather sytems , persist long enough to move with the upper level winds . Tropical ice clouds , however , dissipate more rapidly , and are in all likelihood associated with deep convective cells .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -1421
Date: 2009-05-15

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Global ice cloud observations: radiative properties and statistics from moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer measurements. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -1421 .

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