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Proceedings Paper

CERES cloud properties derived from multispectral VIRS data
Author(s): Patrick Minnis; David F. Young; Bruce A. Wielicki; Patrick W. Heck; Xiquan Dong; Larry L. Stowe; Ronald M. Welch
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Paper Abstract

The Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) experiment, the first satellite project devoted to monitoring cloud macrophysical and microphysical properties simultaneously with the broadband radiation field, is designed to dramatically improve our understanding of the relationship between clouds and the Earth's radiation budget. The first CERES instruments flew on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite between 35 degrees N and 35 degrees S with the Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS), a 2-km resolution imager with five channels: 0.65, 1.6, 3.75, 10.8, and 12 micrometer beginning in January 1998. Cloud amount, height, temperature, phase, effective particle size, and water path are derived from the VIRS radiances and validated using surface radar and lidar data. Droplet radii are largest over ocean and smallest over land. Mean droplet radius is larger than that from earlier studies. The mean ice diameter is 61 micrometer. Variations of cloud parameters with temperature and viewing and solar zenith angle are given. Surface observations of liquid water path and droplet size agree well with the VIRS retrievals. This is the first analysis of cloud microphysical properties covering all times of day using all available pixels and viewing angles for half of the globe. Seasonal and diurnal variations of the cloud properties are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 December 1999
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3867, Satellite Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere IV, (8 December 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.373047
Show Author Affiliations
Patrick Minnis, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
David F. Young, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Bruce A. Wielicki, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Patrick W. Heck, AS&M, Inc. (United States)
Xiquan Dong, Univ. of Utah (United States)
Larry L. Stowe, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (United States)
Ronald M. Welch, Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3867:
Satellite Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere IV
Jaqueline E. Russell, Editor(s)

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