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Proceedings Paper

Satellite sounder-based OLR, cloud, and atmospheric temperature climatologies for climate analyses
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Paper Abstract

Global energy balance of the Earth-atmosphere system may change due to natural and man-made climate variations. For example, changes in the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) can be regarded as a crucial indicator of climate variations. Clouds play an important role -still insufficiently assessed- in the global energy balance on all spatial and temporal scales, and satellites provide an ideal platform to measure cloud and largescale atmospheric variables simultaneously. The TOVS series of satellites were the first to provide this type of information since 1979. OLR [Mehta and Susskind1], cloud cover and cloud top pressure [Susskind et al.2] are among the key climatic parameters computed by the TOVS Pathfinder Path-A algorithm using mainly the retrieved temperature and moisture profiles. AIRS, regarded as the 'new and improved TOVS', has a much higher spectral resolution and greater S/N ratio, retrieving climatic parameters with higher accuracy. First we present encouraging agreements between MODIS and AIRS cloud top pressure (Ctp) and 'effective' (Aeff, a product of infrared emissivity at 11 μm and physical cloud cover or Ac) cloud fraction seasonal and interannual variabilities for selected months. Next we present validation efforts and preliminary trend analyses of TOVS-retrieved Ctp and Aeff. For example, decadal global trends of the TOVS Path-A and ISCCP-D2 Pc and Aeff/Ac values are similar. Furthermore, the TOVS Path-A and ISCCP-AVHRR [available since 1983] cloud fractions correlate even more strongly, including regional trends. We also present TOVS and AIRS OLR validation effort results and (for the longer-term TOVS Pathfinder Path-A dataset) trend analyses. OLR interannual spatial variabilities from the available state-of-the-art CERES measurements and both from the AIRS [Susskind et al.3,4] and TOVS OLR computations are in remarkably good agreement. Global monthly mean CERES and TOVS OLR time series show very good agreement in absolute values also. Finally, we will assess correlations among long-term trends of selected parameters, derived simultaneously from the TOVS Pathfinder Path-A dataset.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 May 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6233, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XII, 62331D (4 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.665046
Show Author Affiliations
Gyula I. Molnar, JCET/UMBC and NASA GSFC (United States)
Joel Susskind, JCET/UMBC and NASA GSFC (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6233:
Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XII
Sylvia S. Shen; Paul E. Lewis, Editor(s)

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