P4.42 State of the global cloud system—A view from MODIS

Wednesday, 12 July 2006
Grand Terrace (Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center)
Brent C. Maddux, CIMSS/Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and L. A. Borg, S. A. Ackerman, and B. A. Baum

Clouds are a key indicator of the state and variability of the global hydrological cycle and radiation budget. Heritage satellite data sets provide a long-term assessment of the state of the global cloud field--each consistent, in and of itself, excluding instrument changes and data gaps. However, these records have significant differences between each other that are both systematic and somewhat unexplainable on large spatiotemporal scales. But, as observational spatiotemporal scales become smaller, patterns in these differences emerge and are attributable to physical reasons. We analyze MODIS level-3 data and compare the cloud properties to the heritage datasets, primarily using joint property histograms and monthly mean anomaly plots. Our goal is to quantify the differences between the satellite data sets over the Terra MODIS time period, and to provide insight into their causes.
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