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29 October 2005 Three-dimensional radiative effects on cloud variability and structural inhomogeneity as observed by satellites
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Geostationary satellites are well suited for radiation budget computations due to their high temporal resolution. In order to validate satellite observations and the radiative properties derived from the GMS-5/SVISSR, we compared its cloud optical depth (COD) with that from the polar orbiting satellite, TERRA/MODIS. It appears that there's a good agreement between both COD sets in thin cloud areas while, major differences (MODIS COD higher) occur in thick cloud regions. Factors affecting accurate observations of clouds by satellites range from the solar and satellites geometries to the sun-cloud scale of interaction. This study focuses on the latter effect, as the solar and satellite zenith angles are relatively low in the area and time selected. The sun-cloud interactions refer here to the three-dimensional radiative effects (e.g. asymmetry, smoothing) due to the horizontal spatial variability of clouds and their structural inhomogeneity. These are analyzed through the IR thermal gradient and small areas' standard deviation (STDEV) respectively. By combining these two parameters, it is possible to reasonably explain the differences in cloud physical and optical properties noticed between both satellites. Results show that, asymmetry and smoothing effects seem to be stronger for SVISSR data than MODIS. At the sides of the clouds SVISSR observed cloud properties are more or less comparable to MODIS data. At the top of the clouds, SVISSR data are systematically lower and do not match MODIS data. SVISSR observations fail to detect cloud inhomogeneity mostly at the top of the clouds, and therefore seem to underestimate the cloud optical properties.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
J. R. Dim, T. Takamura, I. Okada, T. Y. Nakajima, and H. Takenaka "Three-dimensional radiative effects on cloud variability and structural inhomogeneity as observed by satellites", Proc. SPIE 5979, Remote Sensing of Clouds and the Atmosphere X, 597906 (29 October 2005);

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