Study of cloud properties from single-scattering, radiative forcing, and retrieval perspectives
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This dissertation reports on three different yet related topics in light scattering computation, radiative transfer simulation, and remote sensing implementation, regarding the cloud properties and the retrieval of cloud properties from satellite-based infrared radiometric measurements. First, the errors associated with the use of circular cylinders as surrogates for hexagonal columns in computing the optical properties of pristine ice crystals at infrared (8-12 µm) wavelengths are investigated. It is found that the differences between the results for circular cylinders and hexagonal columns are on the order of a few percent at infrared wavelengths. Second, investigated in this dissertation are the outgoing broadband longwave and window channel radiances at the top-of-atmosphere under clear-sky conditions on the basis of the data acquired by the Cloud and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument onboard the NASA Terra satellite platform. Based on the comparison of the observed broadband radiances with those obtained from rigorous radiative transfer simulations, it is found that the theoretical results tend to be larger than their measured counterparts. Extensive sensitivity studies regarding the uncertainties of various parameters were carried out. Within the considered uncertainties of various factors, the computed radiances are still larger than the observed radiances if thin cirrus clouds are excluded. Thus, a potential cause for the differences could be associated with the presence of thin cirrus clouds whose visible optical thickness is smaller than approximately 0.3. Third, presented in this dissertation is an illustration of the application of hyperspectral infrared channel observations to the retrieval of the cloud properties. Specifically, the hyperspectral measurements acquired from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) aboard the NASA Aqua platform are used to infer cloud top pressure, effective cloud amount, cloud thermodynamic phase, cloud optical thickness, and the effective size of cloud particles. The AIRS-based retrievals are compared with the counterparts of the operational cloud products derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). The two retrievals agree reasonably well except for the retrieved cloud effective particle size. Furthermore, the diurnal and seasonal contrasts of cloud properties are also investigated on the basis of the cloud properties retrieved from the AIRS data.
Subjecthyspectral infrared channels
longwave and window band radiances
Lee, Yong-Keun (2006). Study of cloud properties from single-scattering, radiative forcing, and retrieval perspectives. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from