2.1 Intra- and Inter-annual Variability of Polar Stratospheric Clouds from 3-Years of CALIPSO and CloudSat Data (Invited Speaker)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011: 11:00 AM
307-308 (Washington State Convention Center)
Kenneth Sassen, Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK; and J. Zhu and V. K. Kayetha

For the first time we have the ability to observe clouds globally using active remote sensors from Earth orbit. As part of the A-train formation of satellites, CALIPSO supports a dual-wavelength lidar (0.532 μm and 1.06 μm), and CloudSat a W-band (3.2 mm) radar. We rely on CALIPSO measurements to study the monthly and seasonal characteristics, including frequency of occurrence and linear depolarization, of Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSC) over the Antarctic Plateau. Although CloudSat is not designed to detect the small particles in PSC, it reveals the distribution of lower clouds that evidence suggests are often connected to the presence of PSC. We also present examples of case studies showing the combined satellite data, and statistically examine the connections between PSC and tropospheric clouds.
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