Atmospheric Sciences Editors' Highlights

Improving Retrievals for Vertically Inhomogeneous Warm Clouds

Cloud droplet size changes with height, but passive sensors are virtually blind to see it; however, combining passive with active sensors helps profile it in vertically inhomogeneous warm clouds.

Source: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres


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Using remote sensing to retrieve profiles of cloud properties, such as droplet sizes, has always been challenging, despite numerous previous efforts relying on either passive or active sensors alone. Active sensor measurements are skillfully used to characterize vertical inhomogeneity of warm clouds. Passive sensor measurements, in conjunction with the vertical inhomogeneity, are used to retrieve cloud property profiles.

Saito et al. [2019] present an innovative approach for improving cloud property retrievals by taking advantage of both active and passive satellite observations. The authors demonstrate that ignoring vertical inhomogeneity of warm clouds results in biases in cloud property retrievals. The present approach achieves both computational efficiency and reasonable accuracy in cloud property retrievals in vertically inhomogeneous warm clouds. This study may also help improve the knowledge in the climatology of warm cloud property and exploration of warm cloud microphysical processes, as well as other potential applications.

Citation: Saito, M., Yang, P., Hu, Y., Liu, X., Loeb, N., Smith Jr, W. L., & Minnis, P. [2019]. An efficient method for microphysical property retrievals in vertically inhomogeneous marine water clouds using MODIS‐CloudSat measurements. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 124. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JD029659

—Zhanqing Li, Editor, JGR: Atmospheres

Text © 2019. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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