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Laurent Sauvage, Pierre H. Flamant, Hélène Chepfer, Gérard Brogniez, Vincent Trouillet, Jacques Pelon, and Franck Albers


During the intensive European Cloud and Radiation Experiment 1994 (EUCREX’94) conducted off the coast of Brittany (France) over the Atlantic Ocean during April 1994, natural cirrus have been analyzed from in situ and remote sensing measurements. The authors have particularly studied the case of 17 April 1994. For this day a cirrus bank is described by a complete dataset, that is, classic airborne thermodynamical measurements, microphysical (forward scattering spectrometer probe) and OAP-2D2-C (optical array probe-cloud) probes manufactured by Particle Measuring System, and radiative (Barnes Precision Radiation Thermometer, Eppley pyranometers, and upward- and downward-looking pyrgeometers) measurements above and below the cloud. More specific airborne instruments were used such as upward backscatter lidar with polarization capabilities (LEANDRE) on board the Avion de Recherches Atmosphériques et Télédétection and the Polarization and Directionality of the Earth’s Reflectances (POLDER) radiometer on board the Falcon for measurement of bidirectional and polarized reflectances. The scene was also documented by NOAA-12/Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer data. However, the nonsphericity of cirrus ice crystals is clearly demonstrated by the lidar backscattering depolarization ratio measurements (Δp = 24%) and by the absence of any rainbow in POLDER bidirectional reflectances. A specular reflection of the solar light observed on POLDER images indicates the presence of horizontally oriented ice particles in the cloud. All these optical properties will be studied in a companion paper (Part II) and compared with optical properties derived from microphysical models in order to evaluate the radiative impact of natural cirrus clouds.

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Hélène Chepfer, Gérard Brogniez, Laurent Sauvage, Pierre H. Flamant, Vincent Trouillet, and Jacques Pelon


In this paper, a quantitative analysis of in situ and radiative measurements concerning cirrus clouds is presented. These measurements were performed during the European Cloud and Radiative Experiment 1994 (EUCREX’94) as discussed in an earlier paper (Part I). The analyses are expressed in terms of cirrus microphysics structure. The complex microphysical structure of cirrus cloud is approximated by simple hexagonal monocrystalline particles (columns and plates) and by polycrystalline particles (randomized triadic Koch fractals of second generation) both arbitrarily oriented in space (3D). The authors have also considered hexagonal plates randomly oriented in horizontal planes with a tilted angle of 15° (2D). Radiative properties of cirrus cloud are analyzed, assuming that the cloud is composed of 3D ice crystals, by way of an adding–doubling code. For the hypothesis of 2D ice crystals, a modified successive order of scattering code has been used. The first order of scattering is calculated exactly using the scattering phase function of 2D crystals; for the higher orders, it is assumed that the same particles are 3D oriented. To explain the whole dataset, the most appropriate microphysics, in terms of radiative properties of cirrus clouds, is that of the 2D hexagonal plates whose aspect ratio (length divided by diameter) is 0.05.

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