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Proceedings Paper

A global cloud database from VIRS and MODIS for CERES
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Paper Abstract

The NASA CERES Project has developed a combined radiation and cloud property dataset using the CERES scanners and matched spectral data from high-resolution imagers, the Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS) on the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on Terra and Aqua. The diurnal cycle can be well-characterized over most of the globe using the combinations of TRMM, Aqua, and Terra data. The cloud properties are derived from the imagers using state-of-the-art methods and include cloud fraction, height, optical depth, phase, effective particle size, emissivity, and ice or liquid water path. These cloud products are convolved into the matching CERES fields of view to provide simultaneous cloud and radiation data at an unprecedented accuracy. Results are available for at least 3 years of VIRS data and 1 year of Terra MODIS data. The various cloud products are compared with similar quantities from climatological sources and instantaneous active remote sensors. The cloud amounts are very similar to those from surface observer climatologies and are 6-7% less than those from a satellite-based climatology. Optical depths are 2-3 times smaller than those from the satellite climatology, but are within 5% of those from the surface remote sensing. Cloud droplet sizes and liquid water paths are within 10% of the surface results on average for stratus clouds. The VIRS and MODIS retrievals are very consistent with differences that usually can be explained by sampling, calibration, or resolution differences. The results should be extremely valuable for model validation and improvement and for improving our understanding of the relationship between clouds and the radiation budget.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 April 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4891, Optical Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Clouds III, (9 April 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.467317
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)
Sunny Sun-Mack, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
Qing Z. Trepte, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
Yan Chen, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
Patrick W. Heck, AS&M, Inc. (United States)
Xiquan Dong, Univ. of North Dakota (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4891:
Optical Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Clouds III
Hung-Lung Huang; Daren Lu; Yasuhiro Sasano, Editor(s)

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