Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Abstract: Clouds play an important role in regulating the flow of radiation at the top of the atmosphere and at the surface. They are also integral to the atmospheric hydrological cycle via their influence on the balance between radiative and latent heating. The response of cloud cover to increasing greenhouse gases currently represents a large source of uncertainty in model predictions of climate sensitivity. To address this issue, there has been considerable effort in the development and analysis of satellite data sets for documenting changes in global cloud cover to understand its impacts on global climate. The most comprehensive cloud climatology has historically been the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP), which began in July 1983. However, NOAA's Climate Data Record (CDR) program which was tasked with generating, archiving, and stewarding sustainable, consistent, and scientifically defensible climate data records derived from global satellite monitoring (Robinson et al., 2004) adds to the genre of ISCCP-like cloud climatology products. More specifically, current holdings of CDR cloud products are based on instruments that include the High Resolution Infrared Sounder (HIRS) and the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) in addition to ISCCP. Given the synergy in cloud information that may be produced from these different data sources, an overview of the CDR cloud products will be given to highlight differences in the algorithms, mean statistical properties, uses, advances, and applications.
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