2.6 Cloud occurrence and radiation balance in the Tropics

Monday, 28 June 2010: 11:45 AM
Pacific Northwest Ballroom (DoubleTree by Hilton Portland)
Forrest J. Wrenn IV, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and G. G. Mace

Following previous work (Hartmann et. al. 2004) on cloud research in the tropics, CloudSat and its accompanying algorithm suite are used to describe the distribution of clouds and their radiative effects. The aforementioned work has shown that net effect of radiation in the tropics tends to balance at or near zero. This conclusion necessitates a closer look with perhaps a unique view that can be provided by space-borne radar. Using CloudSat's cloud profiling radar and accompanying suite of algorithms, a better understanding of the complexity of clouds and their distributions can be achieved. CloudSat will offer a unique way of identifying cloud top distribution throughout the area as well as their vertical distribution of cloud layers. From the retrievals provided from the cloud profiling radar, the top of atmosphere fluxes can be calculated. Focusing on two regions in the tropics, which presumably encompass the wide range of cloud distributions in the tropics, cloud radiative properties and their distributions are analyzed using CloudSat's cloud profiling radar. Microphysical quantities gathered from CloudSat are inputted to a model that simulates the values of what would be calculated from the ISCCP. This simulation will provide information about potential disparities in data from the two different sensors.
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