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1 June 2005 Validation of AIRS/AMSU cloud retrievals using MODIS cloud analyses
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The AIRS/AMSU (flying on the EOS-AQUA satellite) sounding retrieval methodology allows for the retrieval of key atmospheric/surface parameters under partially cloudy conditions (Susskind et al., 2003). In addition, cloud parameters are also derived from the AIRS/AMSU observations. Within each AIRS footprint, cloud parameters at up to 2 cloud layers are determined with differing cloud top pressures and "effective" (product of infrared emissivity at 11 microns and physical cloud fraction) cloud fractions. However, so far the AIRS cloud product has not been rigorously evaluated/validated. Fortunately, collocated/coincident radiances measured by MODIS/AQUA (at a much lower spectral resolution but roughly an order of-magnitude higher spatial resolution than that of AIRS) are used to determine analogous cloud products from MODIS. This allows us for a rather rare and interesting possibility: the intercomparisons and mutual validation of imager vs. sounder-based cloud products obtained from the same satellite positions. First, we present results of small-scale (granules) instantaneous intercomparisons. Next, we will evaluate differences of temporally averaged (monthly) means as well as the representation of inter-annual variability of cloud parameters as presented by the two cloud data sets. In particular, we present statistical differences in the retrieved parameters of cloud fraction and cloud top pressure. We will investigate what type of cloud systems are retrieved most consistently (if any) with both retrieval schemes, and attempt to assess reasons behind statistically significant differences.
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Gyula I. Molnar and Joel Susskind "Validation of AIRS/AMSU cloud retrievals using MODIS cloud analyses", Proc. SPIE 5806, Algorithms and Technologies for Multispectral, Hyperspectral, and Ultraspectral Imagery XI, (1 June 2005);

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