Comparison of CALIPSO-Like, LaRC, and MODIS Retrievals of Ice-Cloud Properties...

Chiriaco, M., H. Chepfer, P. Minnis, M. Haeffelin, S. Platnick, D. Baumgardner, P. Dubuisson, M. McGill, V. Noël, J. Pelon, D. Spangenberg, S. Sun-Mack, and G. Wind (2007), Comparison of CALIPSO-Like, LaRC, and MODIS Retrievals of Ice-Cloud Properties over SIRTA in France and Florida during CRYSTAL-FACE, J. Appl. Meteor. Climat., 46, 249-272, doi:10.1175/JAM2435.1.

This study compares cirrus-cloud properties and, in particular, particle effective radius retrieved by a Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO)-like method with two similar methods using Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), MODIS Airborne Simulator (MAS), and Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite imagery. The CALIPSO-like method uses lidar measurements coupled with the split-window technique that uses the infrared spectral information contained at the 8.65-, 11.15-, and 12.05-μm bands to infer the microphysical properties of cirrus clouds. The two other methods, using passive remote sensing at visible and infrared wavelengths, are the operational MODIS cloud products (using 20 spectral bands from visible to infrared, referred to by its archival product identifier MOD06 for MODIS Terra) and MODIS retrievals performed by the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) team at Langley Research Center (LaRC) in support of CERES algorithms (using 0.65-, 3.75-, 10.8-, and 12.05-μm bands); the two algorithms will be referred to as the MOD06 and LaRC methods, respectively. The three techniques are compared at two different latitudes. The midlatitude ice-clouds study uses 16 days of observations at the Palaiseau ground-based site in France [Site Instrumental de Recherche par Télédétection Atmosphérique (SIRTA)], including a ground-based 532-nm lidar and the MODIS overpasses on the Terra platform. The tropical ice-clouds study uses 14 different flight legs of observations collected in Florida during the intensive field experiment known as the Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers–Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (CRYSTALFACE), including the airborne cloud-physics lidar and the MAS. The comparison of the three methods gives consistent results for the particle effective radius and the optical thickness but discrepancies in cloud detection and altitudes. The study confirms the value of an active remote sensing method (CALIPSO like) for the study of subvisible ice clouds, in both the midlatitudes and Tropics. Nevertheless, this method is not reliable in optically very thick tropical ice clouds, because of their particular microphysical properties.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)