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  • Author or Editor: Masataka Shiobara x
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Masataka Shiobara
and
Shoji Asano

Abstract

A method is proposed to estimate the optical thickness of cirrus clouds from ground-based sun photometry. Transfer calculations of solar radiation in ice clouds were made by the Monte Carlo method. A scattering phase function presented by Takano and Liou was employed for ice clouds. Simulations of sun photometry, which include strong forward scattering into the instrument's field of view, give a simple relationship between the true and apparent optical thicknesses. The correction method was applied to Sun photometer measurements for cirrostratus clouds observed at Tsukuba, Japan. The relationship between the visible optical thickness and the broadband solar flux transmittance obtained from observations agreed well with that theoretically expected for cloud optical thickness up to about 10.

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Masataka Shiobara
,
James D. Spinhirne
,
Akihiro Uchiyama
, and
Shoji Asano

Abstract

Optical depths in the visible to infrared spectral region were obtained from solar extinction measurements with two sun photometers during the First ISCCP Regional Experiment Phase II Cirrus Intensive Field Observation in Kansas.

A method is described to correct sun photometry for gaseous absorption and is extended to estimate the water vapor amount. The approach uses a prior computation of gaseous absorption for the narrowband-pass sun photometry, parameterized with the slant-path absorber amount. These produce correction coefficients for gaseous absorption, as determined by LOWTRAN 7 models. Near-infrared channels were calibrated by modified Langley plots taking account of gaseous absorption.

After the correction and calibration, the aerosol optical depths at the wavelength of 0.4–4 µm were obtained for clear sky conditions. The aerosol optical depth at the wavelength λ = 0.5 µm was 0.1–0.2 during the campaign. The cloud optical depth at λ = 0.5 µm was obtained for cirrus events on 26 November and 5 December 1991 correction of multiple scattering effects involved in sun photometry. The column amount of water vapor was estimated from the 0.94-µm-channel measurement and compared with results from radiosonde measurements. The comparison has shown a good agreement within a 10% difference during the campaign when the equivalent water vapor amount ranges from 0.3 to 1.2 g cm−2.

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Matthew D. Shupe
,
Von P. Walden
,
Edwin Eloranta
,
Taneil Uttal
,
James R. Campbell
,
Sandra M. Starkweather
, and
Masataka Shiobara

Abstract

Cloud observations over the past decade from six Arctic atmospheric observatories are investigated to derive estimates of cloud occurrence fraction, vertical distribution, persistence in time, diurnal cycle, and boundary statistics. Each observatory has some combination of cloud lidar, radar, ceilometer, and/or interferometer for identifying and characterizing clouds. By optimally combining measurements from these instruments, it is found that annual cloud occurrence fractions are 58%–83% at the Arctic observatories. There is a clear annual cycle wherein clouds are least frequent in the winter and most frequent in the late summer and autumn. Only in Eureka, Nunavut, Canada, is the annual cycle shifted such that the annual minimum is in the spring with the maximum in the winter. Intersite monthly variability is typically within 10%–15% of the all-site average. Interannual variability at specific sites is less than 13% for any given month and, typically, is less than 3% for annual total cloud fractions. Low-level clouds are most persistent at the observatories. The median cloud persistence for all observatories is 3–5 h; however, 5% of cloud systems at far western Arctic sites are observed to occur for longer than 100 consecutive hours. Weak diurnal variability in cloudiness is observed at some sites, with a daily minimum in cloud occurrence near solar noon for those seasons for which the sun is above the horizon for at least part of the day.

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