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Distributions and Radiative Forcings of Various Cloud Types Based on Active and Passive Satellite Datasets – Part 1: Geographical Distributions and Overlap of Cloud Types : Volume 14, Issue 7 (25/04/2014)

By Li, J.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003996804
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 52
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Distributions and Radiative Forcings of Various Cloud Types Based on Active and Passive Satellite Datasets – Part 1: Geographical Distributions and Overlap of Cloud Types : Volume 14, Issue 7 (25/04/2014)  
Author: Li, J.
Volume: Vol. 14, Issue 7
Language: English
Subject: Science, Atmospheric, Chemistry
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Huang, J., Stamnes, K., Ding, X., Lv, Q., Li, J., Yi, Y.,...Wang, T. (2014). Distributions and Radiative Forcings of Various Cloud Types Based on Active and Passive Satellite Datasets – Part 1: Geographical Distributions and Overlap of Cloud Types : Volume 14, Issue 7 (25/04/2014). Retrieved from

Description: Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China. Based on four year' 2B-CLDCLASS-Lidar (Radar-Lidar) cloud classification product from CloudSat, we analyze the geographical distributions of different cloud types and their co-occurrence frequency across different seasons, moreover, utilize the vertical distributions of cloud type to further evaluate the cloud overlap assumptions.

The statistical results show that more high clouds, altocumulus, stratocumulus or stratus and cumulus are identified in the Radar-Lidar cloud classification product compared to previous results from Radar-only cloud classification (2B-CLDCLASS product from CloudSat). In particularly, high clouds and cumulus cloud fractions increased by factors 2.5 and 4–7, respectively. The new results are in more reasonable agreement with other datasets (typically the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) and surface observer reports). Among the cloud types, altostratus and altocumulus are more popular over the arid/semi-arid land areas of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, respectively. These features weren't observed by using the ISCCP D1 dataset.

For co-occurrence of cloud types, high cloud, altostratus, altocumulus and cumulus are much more likely to co-exist with other cloud types. However, stratus/stratocumulus, nimbostratus and convective clouds are much more likely to exhibit individual features. After considering the co-occurrence of cloud types, the cloud fraction based on the random overlap assumption is underestimated over the vast ocean except in the west-central Pacific Ocean warm pool. Obvious overestimations are mainly occurring over land areas in the tropics and subtropics. The investigation therefore indicates that incorporate co-occurrence information of cloud types based on Radar-Lidar cloud classification into the overlap assumption schemes used in the current GCMs possible be able to provide an better predictions for vertically projected total cloud fraction.

Distributions and radiative forcings of various cloud types based on active and passive satellite datasets – Part 1: Geographical distributions and overlap of cloud types

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