20 December 1996 Alpine cloud climatology: regional effects
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Abstract
The present understanding of moist atmospheric processes and the role of clouds in the hydrologic cycle shows severe gaps of knowledge. Water vapor plays an essential part in atmospheric dynamics. For example, the release of large amounts of latent heat, due to the condensation in convective clouds, plays an important role in the general circulation. Knowledge of the distribution of clouds and its transport is essential to understand atmospheric dynamics. Clouds can have a positive as well as a negative contribution to the greenhouse effect. A cloud cover climatology in a 15 km grid resolution has been retrieved by means of the APOLLO algorithm using the 5 calibrated AVHRR channels. The monthly means of total cloud cover are about 15 percent too high compared to conventional data, the standard deviation is +/- 12 percent. The high resolution cloud cover maps show topometeorological features like 'Fohn' on single days but not in monthly means, because these events are too rare. But increased cloud cover in the luff regions are detected in monthly means as well as some cloud sparse regions like Lake Garda, Ticino or the Swiss Rhone valley. The different annual cycles of cloud cover show the different climatic regions, which are temperate, Alpine, and Mediterranean climate. This is indicated, for example, by the remarkably smaller cloud cover in the Alpine region in winter as compared to the northern and southern forelands.
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Martina Kaestner, Martina Kaestner, Karl Theodor Kriebel, Karl Theodor Kriebel, } "Alpine cloud climatology: regional effects", Proc. SPIE 2961, Satellite Remote Sensing and Modeling of Clouds and the Atmosphere, (20 December 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.262494; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.262494
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