The global distribution of the climatology of liquid water path (LWP), the total amount of cloud mass in a unit column in marine warm clouds is estimated with the present approach accounting for the vertical variation of cloud droplet size. The data are obtained from 2006 to 2016 and gridded with 5° x 5° boxes. Gray color shows boxes that have the data samples fewer than 1000. Credit: Saito et al. [2019], Figure 11a
Source: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

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.

—Zhanqing Li, Editor, JGR: Atmospheres

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