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  • 1
    Electronic Resource
    Electronic Resource
    Springer
    Climatic change 31 (1995), S. 305-347 
    ISSN: 1573-1480
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Notes: Abstract An analysis of the spatial and temporal scales of cloud variability and their coupling provided by the results from existing cloud observing systems allows us to reach the following conclusions about the necessary attributes of a cloud monitoring system. (1) Complete global coverage with uniform density is necessary to obtain an unbiased estimate of cloud change and an estimate of the reliability with which that change can be determined. (2) A spatial sampling interval of less than 50 km is required so that cloud cover distributions will generally be homogeneous, or statistically homogeneous, within a sample. (3) A sampling frequency of at least six times a day ensures not only that the diurnal and semi-diurnal cycles are not aliased into long term mean values, but also that changes in them can be monitored. (4) Since estimated climate changes are only evident on a decadal time-scale, unless cloud monitoring is continuous with a record length greater than 10 years and has very high precision (≈ 1%) instrument calibration with overlapping observations between each pair of instruments, it will not be possible either to detect or to diagnose the effects of cloud changes on the climate.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019-05-18
    Description: Cloud droplet number concentration (Nd) is an important parameter of liquid clouds and is crucial to understanding aerosol-cloud interactions. It couples boundary layer aerosol composition, size and concentration with cloud reflectivity. It affects cloud evolution, precipitation, radiative forcing, global climate and, through observation, can be used to partially monitor the first indirect effect. With its unique combination of multi-wavelength, multi-angle, total and polarized reflectance measurements, the Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) retrieves Nd with relatively few assumptions. The approach involves measuring cloud optical thickness, mean droplet extinction cross-section and cloud physical thickness. Polarimetric observations are capable of measuring the effective variance, or width, of the droplet size distribution. Estimating cloud geometrical thickness is also an important component of the polarimetric Nd retrieval, which is accomplished using polarimetric measurements in a water vapor absorption band to retrieve the amount of in-cloud water vapor and relating this to physical thickness. We highlight the unique abilities and quantify uncertainties of the polarimetric approach. We validate the approach using observational data from the North Atlantic and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES). NAAMES targets specific phases in the seasonal phytoplankton lifecycle and ocean-atmosphere linkages. This study provides an excellent opportunity for the RSP to evaluate its approach of sensing Nd over a range of concentrations and cloud types with in situ measurements from a Cloud Droplet Probe (CDP). The RSP and CDP, along with an array of other instruments, are flown on the NASA C-130 aircraft, which flies in situ and remote sensing legs in sequence. Cloud base heights retrieved by the RSP compare well with those derived in situ (R=0.83) and by a ceilometer aboard the R.V. Atlantis (R=0.79). Comparing geometric mean values from 12 science flights throughout the NAAMES-1 and NAAMES-2 campaigns, we find a strong correlation between Nd retrieved by the RSP and CDP (R=0.96). A linear least squares fit has a slope of 0.92 and an intercept of 0.3 cm3. Uncertainty in this comparison can be attributed to cloud 3D effects, nonlinear liquid water profiles, multilayered clouds, measurement uncertainty, variation in spatial and temporal sampling, and assumptions used within the method. Radiometric uncertainties of the RSP measurements lead to biases on derived optical thickness and cloud physical thickness, but these biases largely cancel out when deriving Nd for most conditions and geometries. We find that a polarimetric approach to sensing Nd is viable and the RSP is capable of accurately retrieving Nd for a variety of cloud types and meteorological conditions.
    Keywords: Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN68261 , Remote Sensing of Environment (ISSN 0034-4257) (e-ISSN 1879-0704); 228; 227-240
    Format: text
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: We present comparisons of cloud droplet size distributions (DSDs) retrieved from the research scanning polarimeter (RSP) data with correlative in situ measurements made during the North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES). The airborne portion of this field experiment was based out of St. John's airport, Newfoundland, Canada with the focus of this paper being on the deployment in May - June 2016. RSP was onboard the NASA C-130 aircraft together with an array of in situ and other remote sensing instrumentation. The RSP is an along-track scanner measuring the polarized and total reflectance in 9 spectral channels. Its uniquely high angular resolution allows for characterization of liquid water droplet sizes using the rainbow structure observed in the polarized reflectance over the scattering angle range from 135 to 165.degrees The rainbow is dominated by single scattering of light by cloud droplets, so its structure is characteristic specifically of the droplet sizes at cloud top (within unit optical depth into the cloud, equivalent to approximately 50m). A parametric fitting algorithm applied to the polarized reflectance provides retrievals of the droplet effective radius and variance assuming a prescribed size distribution shape (gamma distribution). In addition to this, we use a non-parametric method, the Rainbow Fourier Transform (RFT), which allows us to retrieve the droplet size distribution itself. The latter is important in the case of clouds with complex microphysical structure, or multiple layers of cloud, which result in multi-modal DSDs. During NAAMES the aircraft performed a number of flight patterns specifically designed for comparisons between remote sensing retrievals and in situ measurements. These patterns consisted of two flight segments above the same straight ground track. One of these segments was flown above clouds allowing for remote sensing measurements, while the other was near the cloud top where cloud droplets were sampled. We compare the DSDs retrieved from the RSP data with in situ measurements made by the Cloud Droplet Probe (CDP). The comparisons generally show good agreement (better than 1 micron for effective radius and in most cases better than 0.02 for effective variance) with deviations explainable by the position of the aircraft within the cloud, or by the presence of additional cloud layers between the cloud being sampled by the in situ instrumentation and the altitude of the remote sensing segment. In the latter case, the multi-modal DSDs retrieved from the RSP data were consistent with the multi-layer cloud structures observed in the correlative High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) profiles. The results of these comparisons provide a rare validation of polarimetric droplet size retrieval techniques, demonstrating their accuracy and robustness and the potential of satellite data of this kind on a global scale.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN54419 , Remote Sensing of Environment (ISSN 0034-4257) (e-ISSN 1879-0704); 210; 76-95
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Cloud top height (CTH) affects the radiative properties of clouds. Improved CTH observations will allow for improved parameterizations in large-scale models and accurate information on CTH is also important when studying variations in freezing point and cloud microphysics. NASAs airborne Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) is able to measure cloud top height using a novel multi-angular contrast approach. For the determination of CTH, a set of consecutive nadir reflectances is selected and the cross-correlations between this set and co-located sets at other viewing angles are calculated for a range of assumed cloud top heights, yielding a correlation profile. Under the assumption that cloud reflectances are isotropic, local peaks in the correlation profile indicate cloud layers. This technique can be applied to every RSP footprint and we demonstrate that detection of multiple peaks in the correlation profile allow retrieval of heights of multiple cloud layers within single RSP footprints. This paper provides an in-depth description of the architecture and performance of the RSPs CTH retrieval technique using data obtained during the Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC(exp. 4)RS) campaign. RSP retrieved cloud heights are evaluated using collocated data from the Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL). The method's accuracy associated with the magnitude of correlation, optical thickness, cloud thickness and cloud height are explored. The technique is applied to measurements at a wavelength of 670 nm and 1880 nm and their combination. The 1880-nm band is virtually insensitive to the lower troposphere due to strong water vapor absorption.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology; Statistics and Probability; Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN44330 , Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (ISSN 1867-1381) (e-ISSN 1867-8548); 10; 6; 2361-2375
    Format: text
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: We present comparisons of cloud droplet size distributions retrieved from the Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) data with correlative in situ measurements made during the North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES). This field experiment was based at St. Johns airport, Newfoundland, Canada with the latest deployment in May - June 2016. RSP was onboard the NASA C-130 aircraft together with an array of in situ and other remote sensing instrumentation. The RSP is an along-track scanner measuring polarized and total reflectances in9 spectral channels. Its unique high angular resolution allows for characterization of liquid water droplet size using the rainbow structure observed in the polarized reflectances in the scattering angle range between 135 and 165 degrees. A parametric fitting algorithm applied to the polarized reflectances provides retrievals of the droplet effective radius and variance assuming a prescribed size distribution shape (gamma distribution). In addition to this, we use a non-parametric method, Rainbow Fourier Transform (RFT), which allows us to retrieve the droplet size distribution (DSD) itself. The latter is important in the case of clouds with complex structure, which results in multi-modal DSDs. During NAAMES the aircraft performed a number of flight patterns specifically designed for comparison of remote sensing retrievals and in situ measurements. These patterns consisted of two flight segments above the same straight ground track. One of these segments was flown above clouds allowing for remote sensing measurements, while the other was at the cloud top where cloud droplets were sampled. We compare the DSDs retrieved from the RSP data with in situ measurements made by the Cloud Droplet Probe (CDP). The comparisons show generally good agreement with deviations explainable by the position of the aircraft within cloud and by presence of additional cloud layers in RSP view that do not contribute to the in situ DSDs. In the latter case the distributions retrieved from the RSP data were consistent with the multi-layer cloud structures observed in the correlative High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) profiles. The comparison results provide a rare validation of polarimetric droplet size retrieval techniques, which can be used for analysis of satellite data on global scale.
    Keywords: Earth Resources and Remote Sensing; Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN38026 , AGU Fall Meeting 2016; 12-16 Dec. 2016; San Francisco, CA; United States
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: Characterization of the Earth's surface is crucial to remote sensing, both to map geomorphological features and because subtracting this signal is essential during retrievals of the atmospheric constituents located between the surface and the sensor. Current operational algorithms model the surface total reflectance through a weighted linear combination of a few geometry-dependent kernels, each devised to describe a particular scattering mechanism. The information content of these measurements is overwhelmed by that of instruments with polarization capabilities: proposed models in this case are based on the Fresnel reflectance of an isotropic distribution of facets. Because of its remarkable lack of spectral contrast, the polarized reflectance of land surfaces in the shortwave infrared spectral region, where atmospheric scattering is minimal, can be used to model the surface also at shorter wavelengths, where aerosol retrievals are attempted based on well-established scattering theories. In radiative transfer simulations, straightforward separation of the surface and atmospheric contributions is not possible without approximations because of the coupling introduced by multiple reflections. Within a general inversion framework, the problem can be eliminated by linearizing the radiative transfer calculation, and making the Jacobian (i.e., the derivative expressing the sensitivity of the reflectance with respect to model parameters) available at output. We present a general methodology based on a Gauss-Newton iterative search, which automates this procedure and eliminates de facto the need of an ad hoc atmospheric correction. In this case study we analyze the color variations in the polarized reflectance measured by the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies Research Scanning Polarimeter during a survey of late-season snowfields in the High Sierra. This insofar unique dataset presents challenges linked to the rugged topography associated with the alpine environment and a likely high water content due to melting. The analysis benefits from ancillary information provided by the NASA Langley High Spectral Resolution Lidar deployed on the same aircraft. The results obtained from the iterative scheme are contrasted against the surface polarized reflectance obtained ignoring multiple reflections, via the simplistic subtraction of the atmospheric scattering contribution. Finally, the retrieved reflectance is modeled after the scattering properties of a dense collection of ice crystals at the surface. Confirming that the polarized reflectance of snow is spectrally flat would allow to extend the techniques already in use for polarimetric retrievals of aerosol properties over land to the large portion of snow-covered pixels plaguing orbital and suborbital observations.
    Keywords: Earth Resources and Remote Sensing; Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN8852 , Journal of Quantitative Spectroscopy and Radiative Transfer; 113; 10; 789-804
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: In 2010, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) performed several aerial surveys over the region affected by the oil spill caused by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore platform. The instrument was deployed on the NASA Langley B200 aircraft together with the High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL), which provides information on the distribution of the aerosol layers beneath the aircraft, including an accurate estimate of aerosol optical depth. This work illustrates the merits of polarization measurements in detecting variations of ocean surface properties linked to the presence of an oil slick. In particular, we make use of the degree of linear polarization in the glint region, which is severely affected by variations in the refractive index but insensitive to the waviness of the water surface. Alterations in the surface optical properties are therefore expected to directly affect the polarization response of the RSP channel at 2264 nm, where both molecular and aerosol scattering are negligible and virtually all of the observed signal is generated via Fresnel reflection at the surface. The glint profile at this wavelength is fitted with a model which can optimally estimate refractive index, wind speed and direction, together with aircraft attitude variations affecting the viewing geometry. The retrieved refractive index markedly increases over oil-contaminated waters, while the apparent wind speed is significantly lower than in adjacent uncontaminated areas, suggesting that the slick dampens high-frequency components of the ocean wave spectrum. The constraint on surface reflectance provided by the short-wave infrared channels is a cornerstone of established procedures to retrieve atmospheric aerosol microphysical parameters based on the inversion of the RSP multispectral measurements. This retrieval, which benefits from the ancillary information provided by the HSRL, was in this specific case hampered by prohibitive variability in atmospheric conditions (very inhomogeneous aerosol distribution and cloud cover). Although the results presented for the surface are essentially unaffected, we discuss the results obtained by typing algorithms in sorting the complex mix of aerosol types, and show evidence of oriented ice in cirrus clouds present in the area. In this context, polarization measurements at 1880 nm were used to infer ice habit and cirrus optical depth, which was found in the subvisual/threshold-visible regime, confirming the utility of the aforementioned RSP channel for the remote sensing of even thin cold clouds.
    Keywords: Earth Resources and Remote Sensing; Environment Pollution
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN8853 , Remote Sensing of Environment; 121; 389-403
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2019-07-13
    Description: We use the recently extended superposition T-matrix method to calculate scattering and absorption properties of micrometer-sized water droplets contaminated by black carbon. Our numerically exact results reveal that, depending on the mode of soot-water mixing, the soot specific absorption can vary by a factor exceeding 6.5. The specific absorption is maximized when the soot material is quasi-uniformly distributed throughout the droplet interior in the form of numerous small monomers. The range of mixing scenarios captured by our computations implies a wide range of remote sensing and radiation budget implications of the presence of black carbon in liquid-water clouds. We show that the popular Maxwell-Garnett effective-medium approximation can be used to calculate the optical cross sections, single-scattering albedo, and asymmetry parameter for the quasi-uniform mixing scenario, but is likely to fail in application to other mixing scenarios and in computations of the elements of the scattering matrix.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN14346 , Optics Letters; 39; 9; 2607-2610
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2019-07-10
    Description: This paper outlines the methodology of interpreting channel 1 and 2 AVHRR radiance data over the oceans and describes a detailed analysis of the sensitivity of monthly averages of retrieved aerosol parameters to the assumptions made in different retrieval algorithms. The analysis is based on using real AVHRR data and exploiting accurate numerical techniques for computing single and multiple scattering and spectral absorption of light in the vertically inhomogeneous atmosphere-ocean system. We show that two-channel algorithms can be expected to provide significantly more accurate and less biased retrievals of the aerosol optical thickness than one-channel algorithms and that imperfect cloud screening and calibration uncertainties are by far the largest sources of errors in the retrieved aerosol parameters. Both underestimating and overestimating aerosol absorption as well as the potentially strong variability of the real part of the aerosol refractive index may lead to regional and/or seasonal biases in optical thickness retrievals. The Angstrom exponent appears to be the most invariant aerosol size characteristic and should be retrieved along with optical thickness as the second aerosol parameter.
    Keywords: Environment Pollution
    Type: GCN-99-60
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2019-07-12
    Description: We illustrate our methods on examples from the recent NASA's field campaigns POlarimeter Definition EXperiment (PODEX, based in Palmdale, California, January - February 2013) and Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS, based in Houston, Texas in August - September 2013). During these campaigns the RSP was onboard the NASA's long-range high-altitude ER-2 aircraft together with an array of other remote sensing instrumentation. Correlative sampling measurements from another aircraft were also available. The data obtained during these campaigns provides an excellent opportunity to study cloud properties in variety of locations and atmospheric conditions. We present examples of boundary layer cumulus and stratocumulus clouds, liquid altostratus clouds, and fogs. In the latter two cases the droplet size distribution derived from RFT analysis exhibited multiple modes corresponding to different cloud layers, as supported by the correlative lidar atmospheric profiles.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology; Earth Resources and Remote Sensing
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN16872
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