27 December 1995 Retrieval of a microphysical index for semitransparent cirrus clouds from AVHRR data: ICE'89 campaign study
Author Affiliations +
An automatic method is presented for extracting a microphysical index (related to the ratio of cloud absorption coefficients) of cirrus clouds from thermal infrared AVHRR data (11 jtm and 12 im). The processing scheme makes use of the optical properties of ice particles at the two wavelengths and of the relationship between emittance and transmittance of semitransparent cirrus clouds. The retrieved microphysical index is characteristic of the optical properties of ice particles and allows to explain the high Brightness Temperature Differences measured between AVHRR channel 4 and 5. Assuming that cirrus clouds are composed of ice spheres, the effective diameter of the particles can be deduced from this microphysical index. The retrieval scheme has obvious limitations. First, in order to perform the processing over a geographic zone, both (i) overcast semitransparent cimis cloud pixels, (ii) overcast opaque cirrus cloud pixels, and (iii) cirrus free pixels must be observed in this region. Such systems are frequently found on (50x50) - (200x200) Km2 regional scale. Secondly, for multilayered cloud systems, the processing is only able to derive the microphysical index related to the semi-transparent part of the coldest cirrus layer that contains the smallest particles. Finally, the determination of effective diameter beyond 60 .tm is no more accurate. The treatment is applied to 21 NOAA1 1-AVHRR images acquired during International Cirrus Experiment (ICE'89) on the North Atlantic and Europe region from 10 to 20 October 1989. This statistical approach shows that for cloud top temperature less than about 230 K, effective mean particle diameter is always greater than 20 jim, while warmer cirrus clouds contain, on an average, smaller particles.
© (1995) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
V. Giraud, V. Giraud, Frederic Parol, Frederic Parol, Jean-Claude Buriez, Jean-Claude Buriez, Yves Fouquart, Yves Fouquart, "Retrieval of a microphysical index for semitransparent cirrus clouds from AVHRR data: ICE'89 campaign study", Proc. SPIE 2578, Passive Infrared Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere III, (27 December 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.228930; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.228930


Back to Top