Blowing snow plays an important role in the studies of the Earth’s cryosphere. Not only can
it affects the ice sheet mass balance and hydrological processes through redistributing surface mass
and driving spatial and temporal variations in snow accumulation, it also has a significant impact on
the long wave radiation budget both at the surface and at the top of the atmosphere. In this article,
we show that blowing snow has substantial impact on the Antarctic Outgoing Longwave Radiation
(OLR). Significant cloud-free OLR differences are observed between the clear and blowing snow
sky, with the sign and magnitude depending on season and time of the day.
The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) currently provides three independently derived cloud mask products at 1.1 km spatial resolution. The Radiometric Camera-by-camera Cloud Mask (RCCM) is terrain-referenced and calculated for each of the nine MISR cameras, the Stereoscopically Derived Cloud Mask (SDCM) is feature-projected and uses radiances from one pair of the MISR cameras, and the Angular Signature Cloud Mask (ASCM) uses a band-differenced angular signature based on the two most oblique cameras viewing forward scattering radiation. While each mask has been extensively validated, each having its own strengths and weaknesses, there has been no effort to combine the strengths of all of the masks to create a single consensus product. We present an algorithm which addresses the problem and produces a so called "consensus cloud mask" of improved performance, and elaborate on further cloud climatology applications.