Comparing airborne and satellite retrievals of cloud optical thickness and particle effective radius using a spectral radiance ratio technique: two case studies for cirrus and deep convective clouds

TitleComparing airborne and satellite retrievals of cloud optical thickness and particle effective radius using a spectral radiance ratio technique: two case studies for cirrus and deep convective clouds
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsKrisna T.C, Wendisch M., Ehrlich A., Jakel E., Frank W.A, Weigel R., Borrmann S., Mahnke C., Poschl U., Andreae M.O, Voigt C., Machado L.AT
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Volume18
Pagination4439-4462
Date Published2018/04
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1680-7316
Accession NumberWOS:000429011100003
Keywordscrystal shape; ice clouds; in-situ measurements; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences; microphysical properties; mixed-phase clouds; pacific; surface albedo; thin cirrus; utls water-vapor; vertical-distribution; western
Abstract

Solar radiation reflected by cirrus and deep convective clouds (DCCs) was measured by the Spectral Modular Airborne Radiation Measurement System (SMART) installed on the German High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft (HALO) during the Mid-Latitude Cirrus (ML-CIRRUS) and the Aerosol, Cloud, Precipitation, and Radiation Interaction and Dynamic of Convective Clouds System - Cloud Processes of the Main Precipitation Systems in Brazil: A Contribution to Cloud Resolving Modelling and to the Global Precipitation Measurement (ACRIDICON-CHUVA) campaigns. On particular flights, HALO performed measurements closely collocated with overpasses of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite. A cirrus cloud located above liquid water clouds and a DCC topped by an anvil cirrus are analyzed in this paper. Based on the nadir spectral upward radiance measured above the two clouds, the optical thickness tau and particle effective radius r(eff) of the cirrus and DCC are retrieved using a radiance ratio technique, which considers the cloud thermodynamic phase, the vertical profile of cloud microphysical properties, the presence of multilayer clouds, and the heterogeneity of the surface albedo. For the cirrus case, the comparison of tau and r(eff) retrieved on the basis of SMART and MODIS measurements yields a normalized mean absolute deviation of up to 1.2% for tau and 2.1% for r(eff). For the DCC case, deviations of up to 3.6% for tau and 6.2% for r(eff) are obtained. The larger deviations in the DCC case are mainly attributed to the fast cloud evolution and three-dimensional (3-D) radiative effects. Measurements of spectral upward radiance at near-infrared wavelengths are employed to investigate the vertical profile of r(eff) in the cirrus. The retrieved values of r(eff) are compared with corresponding in situ measurements using a vertical weighting method. Compared to the MODIS observations, measurements of SMART provide more information on the vertical distribution of particle sizes, which allow reconstructing the profile of r(eff) close to the cloud top. The comparison between retrieved and in situ r(eff) yields a normalized mean absolute deviation, which ranges between 1.5 and 10.3 %, and a robust correlation coefficient of 0.82.

DOI10.5194/acp-18-4439-2018
Short TitleAtmos. Chem. Phys.
Student Publication: 
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