8.3 Profiling Radiative Heating in the Atmosphere with a New CloudSat/CALIPSO Fluxes and Heating Rates Algorithm

Wednesday, 30 June 2010: 11:00 AM
Pacific Northwest Ballroom (DoubleTree by Hilton Portland)
Tristan S. L'Ecuyer, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO; and D. Henderson and G. Stephens

It is well known that clouds exert a profound influence on the Earth's radiation budget and cloud feedbacks continue to represent one of the most important unresolved factors in climate prediction. Despite their narrow swaths relative to conventional passive sensors, active sensors like those aboard the CloudSat and CALIPSO satellites provide invaluable tools for refining our estimates of the impact of clouds on surface radiative fluxes on global scales. This presentation will describe the underlying physical basis of CloudSat's lidar-enhanced radiative fluxes and heating rates product that leverages the unprecedented vertical structure information provided by CloudSat and CALIPSO to infer profiles of longwave and shortwave radiative fluxes throughout the atmosphere at high spatial resolution. These data will be used to contrast the assessing the impacts of clouds with different morphologies on regional radiation budgets. Particular emphasis will be given to the vertical structure of cloud radiative heating within the atmosphere and the radiative impacts of precipitating and non-precipitating clouds will be compared.
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