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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-03-02
    Description: © The Author(s), 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Earth's Future 6 (2018): 80–102, doi:10.1002/2017EF000627.
    Description: Climate observations are needed to address a large range of important societal issues including sea level rise, droughts, floods, extreme heat events, food security, and freshwater availability in the coming decades. Past, targeted investments in specific climate questions have resulted in tremendous improvements in issues important to human health, security, and infrastructure. However, the current climate observing system was not planned in a comprehensive, focused manner required to adequately address the full range of climate needs. A potential approach to planning the observing system of the future is presented in this article. First, this article proposes that priority be given to the most critical needs as identified within the World Climate Research Program as Grand Challenges. These currently include seven important topics: melting ice and global consequences; clouds, circulation and climate sensitivity; carbon feedbacks in the climate system; understanding and predicting weather and climate extremes; water for the food baskets of the world; regional sea-level change and coastal impacts; and near-term climate prediction. For each Grand Challenge, observations are needed for long-term monitoring, process studies and forecasting capabilities. Second, objective evaluations of proposed observing systems, including satellites, ground-based and in situ observations as well as potentially new, unidentified observational approaches, can quantify the ability to address these climate priorities. And third, investments in effective climate observations will be economically important as they will offer a magnified return on investment that justifies a far greater development of observations to serve society's needs.
    Keywords: Climate observations ; Climate Observing System Simulation Experiments ; Value of information ; Economic value ; Grand challenges
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: The effect of sensor spatial resolution on satellite-derived estimates of cloud fractional coverage is quantified on the basis of Landsat satellite radiance data. Cloud fraction is found to depend on cloud algorithm as much as it depends on sensor spatial resolution. Even for 28.5-m spatial resolution data, large cloud fraction differences exist between algorithms. Satellite cloud retrieval algorithms depend strongly on sensor spatial resolution and/or on the optical depth of the cloud field. When present, spatial resolution effects are small (less than 0.01) for pixel diameter less than 1/4 km and are large for pixel diameter larger than 1 km. The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project bispectral threshold gives an increase in cloud fraction of 0.11 as spatial resolution degrades from 20 m to 8 km. The spatial coherence algorithm underestimates boundary layer cloud fraction by 0.18. The use of functional box counting and an assumption of fractal scale invariance overestimates the dependence of cloud fraction for spatial scales below 1 km.
    Keywords: METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY
    Type: Journal of Geophysical Research (ISSN 0148-0227); 97; D12,; 12
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2011-08-19
    Description: A hybrid bispectral threshold method (HBTM) is presently used to compare cloud amounts derived from Landsat digital data over 22 regions having various cloud types with cloudiness information obtained from collocated, nearly-simultaneous 4 x 8-km GOES visible and IR data. A sensitivity analysis indicates that an rms underestimation of about 0.01 in clear sky reflectance by the HBTM increased the GOES cloud amount by 0.06, which is more than twice the decrese in cloud amount obtained by an equivalent increase in clear-sky reflectance. Landsat imagery and cloud properties derived from the Landsat data are used to explain how the partially cloud-filled GOES pixels were treated by the HBTM. It is found that the HBTM accounts for the effects of partially cloud-filled FOVs in most cases of the present study.
    Keywords: METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY
    Type: Journal of Geophysical Research (ISSN 0148-0227); 93; 9385-940
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2011-08-19
    Description: An overview is presented of the CERES experiment that is designed not only to monitor changes in the earth's radiant energy system and cloud systems but to provide these data with enough accuracy and simultaneity to examine the critical climate/cloud feedback mechanisms which may play a major role in determining future changes in the climate system. CERES will estimate not only the flow of radiation at the top of the atmosphere, but also more complete cloud properties that will permit determination of radiative fluxes within the atmosphere and at the surface. The CERES radiation budget data is also planned for utilization in a wide range of other Earth Observing System interdisciplinary science investigations, including studies of land, biological, ocean and atmospheric processes.
    Keywords: METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2011-08-19
    Description: A maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) technique to the problem of cloud identification using coarse resolution broadband satellite data is developed and tested using simulated satellite observations. The results suggest that, in the determination of cloud conditions for the inversion of satellite-measured radiances to fluxes, the MLE method is an improvement over a Lambertian earth assumption and the clear/cloud threshold used in the inversion of Nimbus 3 and Nimbus 7 data. The use of the MLE method in the operational processing of Earth Radiation Budget Experiment scanner data is considered.
    Keywords: METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY
    Type: Journal of Applied Meteorology (ISSN 0894-8763); 28; 1133-114
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2011-08-23
    Description: Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) is an investigation to examine the role of cloud/radiation feedback in the Earth's climate system. The CERES broadband scanning radiometers are an improved version of the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) radiometers. The CERES instruments will fly on several National Aeronautics and Space Administration Earth Observing System (EOS) satellites starting in 1998 and extending over at least 15 years. The CERES science investigations will provide data to extend the ERBE climate record of top-of-atmosphere shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) radiative fluxes CERES will also combine simultaneous cloud property data derived using EOS narrowband imagers to provide a consistent set of cloud/radiation data, including SW and LW radiative fluxes at the surface and at several selected levels within the atmosphere. CERES data are expected to provide top-of-atmosphere radiative fluxes with a factor of 2 to 3 less error than the ERBE data Estimates of radiative fluxes at the surface and especially within the atmosphere will be a much greater challenge but should also show significant improvements over current capabilities.
    Keywords: Meteorology and Climatology
    Type: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society; Volume 77; No. 5; 853-868
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2011-08-19
    Description: Observations of cirrus and altocumulus clouds during the FIRE are compared to theoretical models of cloud radiative properties. Three tests are performed. First, radiances are used to compare the relationship between nadir reflectance ot 0.83 micron and beam emittance at 11.5 microns with that predicted for model calculations using spherical and nonspherical phase functions. Good agreement is found between observations and theory when water droplets dominate. Poor agreement is found when ice particles dominate, especially using spherical-particle phase functions (SPPFs). Even when compared to a laboratory-measured ice-particle phase function (IPPF), the observations show great side-scattered radiation than the theoretical calculations. Second, the anisotropy of conservatively scattered radiation is examined using simultaneous multiple angle views of the cirrus from Landsat and ER-2 aircraft radiometers. Observed anisotropy gives good agreement with theoretical calculations using the laboratory IPPF and poor agreement with an SPPF. Third, Landsat radiances at 0.83, 1.65, and 2.21 microns are used to infer particle phase and size. For water droplets, good agreement is found with particle-probe measurements in the cloud. For ice particles, the Landsat radiance observations predict an effective radius of 60 microns versus aircraft observations of about 200 microns. It is suggested that this discrepancy may be explained by uncertainty in the imaginary index of ice and by inadequate measurements of small ice particles by microphysical probes.
    Keywords: METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY
    Type: Monthly Weather Review (ISSN 0027-0644); 118; 2356-237
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2011-08-24
    Description: A technique is developed that uses a multispectral, multiresolution method to improve the overall retrieval of mid- to high-level cloud properties by combining HIRS sounding channel data with higher spatial resolution AVHRR radiometric data collocated with the HIRS footprint. Cirrus cloud radiative and physical properties are determined using satellite data, surface-based measurements provided by rawinsondes and lidar, and aircraft-based lidar data collected during the First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Program Regional Experiment in Wisconsin during the months of October and November 1986. HIRS cloud-height retrievals are compared to ground-based lidar and aircraft lidar when possible. Retrieved cloud heights are found to have close agreement with lidar for thin cloud, but are higher than lidar for optically thick cloud. The results of the reflectance-emittance relationships derived are compared to theoretical scattering model results for both water-droplet spheres and randomly oriented hexagonal ice crystals. It is found that the assumption of 10-micron water droplets is inadequate to describe the reflectance-emittance relationship for the ice clouds seen here. Use of this assumption would lead to lower cloud heights using the ISCCP approach. The theoretical results show that use of hexagonal ice crystal phase functions could lead to much improved results for cloud retrieval algorithms using a bispectral approach.
    Keywords: METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY
    Type: Journal of Applied Meteorology (ISSN 0894-8763); 31; 351-369
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2011-08-19
    Description: First results for diurnal cycles derived from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment are presented for the combined Earth Radiation Budget Satellite and NOAA-9 spacecraft for April 1985. Regional scale longwave radiation data are analyzed to determine diurnal variations for the total scene (including clouds) and for clear-sky conditions. The longwave diurnal range was found to be greatest for clear desert regions (up to about 70 W/sq m) and smallest for clear oceans (less than 5 W/sq m). Local time of maximum longwave radiation occurs at a wide range of times throughout the day and night over oceans, but generally occurs from noon to early afternoon over land and desert regions.
    Keywords: GEOPHYSICS
    Type: American Meteorological Society, Bulletin (ISSN 0003-0007); 69; 1144-115
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2013-08-31
    Description: A large discrepancy exists in current estimates of a mean cirrus particle size appropriate for calculations of the effects of these ice clouds on solar and thermal infrared radiative fluxes. For spheres with large size parameter (x = (2 pi r / lambda) is greater than 30, where r is particle radius), and moderate absorption (n(sup i) x less than 1, where n(sup i) is imaginary index of refraction for ice), the optimal effective particle radius is given by: r(sub e) = integral of r(exp 3)n(r)dr / integral of r(exp 2)n(r)dr. For the remote sensing of cirrus particle size at wavelengths of 0.83, 1.65, and 2.21 mu m, a 50 mu m ice sphere would have a size parameter of about 200, and values of n(sup i) x of 0, 0.045, and 0.06, satisfying the above conditions. However, while r(sub e) is a well-defined parameter for spheres, this cross-section area-weighted particle radius can only be extended to non-spherical particles by defining some equivalent sphere, typically an equivalent volume or equivalent cross-section area sphere. Using equivalent volume spheres, values of r(sub e) obtained over Lake Michigan on October 28, 1986, during FIRE phase I varied from 200 mu m (King Air 2D Imaging probes) to 60 mu m (Landsat reflectances at 0.83, 1.65, and 2.2 mu m), to 25 mu m (HIS spectrometer thermal emission between 8 and 12 mu m). Three major uncertainties were identified in this comparison: small ice particles missed by the 2D-C aircraft probes, uncertain ice refractive index, and uncertainties in the single scatter albedos and scattering phase functions used in the radiative calculations. Since the first FIRE cirrus results, advances have been made in all three areas. The present paper reports on improvements in the radiative modeling of ice particles at 0.83, 1.65, and 2.21 mu m wavelengths appropriate for comparisons to Landsat Thematic Mapper data. The paper also includes new results for Landsat observations of ice clouds in the eastern and western tropical Pacific.
    Keywords: METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY
    Type: The FIRE Cirrus Science Results 1993; p 201-204
    Format: application/pdf
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