10A.4 Progress toward NASA MODIS and Suomi NPP Cloud Property Data Record Continuity

Thursday, 11 January 2018: 9:15 AM
410 (Hilton) (Austin, Texas)
Steven Platnick, GSFC, Greenbelt, MD; and K. Meyer, R. Holz, S. A. Ackerman, A. Heidinger, G. Wind, N. Amarasinghe, C. Wang, B. Marchant, and R. Frey

The Suomi NPP VIIRS imager provides an opportunity to extend the 17+ year EOS MODIS climate data record into the next generation operational era. Similar to MODIS, VIIRS provides visible through IR observations at moderate spatial resolution with a 1330 LT equatorial crossing consistent with the MODIS on the Aqua platform. However, unlike MODIS, VIIRS lacks key water vapor and CO2 absorbing channels used for high cloud detection and cloud-top property retrievals. In addition, there is a significant mismatch in the spectral location of the 2.2 μm shortwave-infrared channels used for cloud optical/microphysical retrievals and cloud thermodynamic phase.

Given these instrument differences between MODIS EOS and VIIRS S-NPP/JPSS, a merged MODIS-VIIRS cloud record to serve the science community in the coming decades requires different algorithm approaches than those used for MODIS alone. This new approach includes two parallel efforts: (1) Imager-only algorithms with only spectral channels common to VIIRS and MODIS (i.e., eliminate use of MODIS CO2 and NIR/IR water vapor channels). Since the algorithms are run with similar spectral observations, they provide a basis for establishing a continuous cloud data record across the two imagers. (2) Merged imager and sounder measurements (i.e.., MODIS-AIRS, VIIRS-CrIS) in lieu of higher-spatial resolution MODIS absorption channels absent on VIIRS. The MODIS-VIIRS continuity algorithm for cloud optical property retrievals leverages heritage algorithms that produce the existing MODIS cloud mask (MOD35), optical and microphysical properties product (MOD06), and the NOAA AWG Cloud Height Algorithm (ACHA).

We discuss our progress towards merging the MODIS observational record with VIIRS in order to generate cloud optical property climate data record continuity across the observing systems. In addition, we summarize efforts to reconcile apparent radiometric biases between analogous imager channels, a critical consideration for obtaining inter-sensor climate data record continuity.

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