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C. Prabhakara, Jung-Moon Yoo, Giuseppe Dalu, and R. S. Fraser

Abstract

The spectral data obtained by the Infrared Interferometer Spectrometer (IRIS) flown on Nimbus 4 satellite in 1970 indicated the existence of optically thin ice clouds in the upper troposphere that probably extended into lower stratosphere, in the polar regions, during winter and early spring. The spectral features of these clouds differ somewhat from that of the optically thin cirrus clouds in the tropics. From theoretical simulation of the infrared spectra in the 8–25 μm region, we infer that these polar clouds have a vertical stratification in particle size, with larger particles (∼12 μm) in the bottom of the cloud and smaller ones (≲1 μm) aloft. Radiative transfer calculations also suggest that the equivalent ice-water content of these polar clouds is of the order of 1 mg cm−2.

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C. Prabhakara, R. S. Fraser, G. Dalu, Man-Li C. Wu, R. J. Curran, and T. Styles

Abstract

Spectral differences in the extinction between the 10.8 and 12.6 μm bands of the infrared window region, due to optically thin clouds, are observed in the measurements made by a broad-band infrared aircraft radiometer. Similar spectral properties are also revealed by the measurements made by the high-resolution infrared inter-ferometer spectrometer (IRIS) aboard the Nimbus-4 satellite, which had a field of view of ∼ 95 km. These observations show that the extinction due to cloud particles at 12.6 μm is appreciably larger than that at 10.8 μm. Both water or ice particles in the clouds can account for such spectral difference in extinction provided that the particles are smaller than the wavelength of radiation. This spectral effect is demonstrated with the help of multiple scattering radiative transfer calculations. As the IRIS data reveal this spectral feature, about 100 to 200 km away from the center of high altitude cold clouds (∼ 230 K), it is inferred that this feature is related to the spreading of cirrus clouds. Based on this hypothesis, we have deduced mean seasonal maps of the distribution of thin cirrus clouds over the oceans from 50°N to 50°S from the IRIS data. These maps reveal that, over the oceans, such clouds are often present over the convectively active areas such as ITCZ, SPCZ, and the Bay of Bengal. These results have application to studies of earth radiation balance and climate.

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C. Prabhakara, D. A. Short, W. Wiscombe, R. S. Fraser, and B. E. Vollmer

Abstract

Nimbus 7 Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) measurements at five frequencies in the region 6.6 to 37 GHz, at a resolution of 155 km, are analyzed to infer precipitation over the global oceans. The microwave data show, on this spatial scale, that the combined liquid water in the clouds and rain increases the brightness temperature almost linearly with frequency in the 6.6 to 18 GHz region, while at 37 GHz such a simple relationship is not noticed. Further, as the atmospheric water vapor absorption and the effects of scattering by precipitation particles are relatively weak at 6.6 and 10.7 GHz, a technique to remotely sense the liquid water content in the atmosphere is developed based on the brightness measurements at these two frequencies. Seasonal mean patterns of liquid water content in the atmosphere derived from SMMR over global oceans relate closely to climatological patterns of precipitation. Based on this, an empirical relationship is derived to estimate precipitation over the global oceans, with an accuracy of about ±30 percent, on a seasonal basis from satellite measurements made during the three years (1979–81) before the recent El Niño event. The deviations from these three-year means in the precipitation, produced by the 1982–83 El Niño event are then deduced from the SMMR measurements. In the Pacific one notices from these deviations that the precipitation over the ITCZ in the north, the South Pacific Convergence Zone, and the oceans around Indonesia is drastically reduced. At the same time a substantial increase in precipitation is observed over the normally dry central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.

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A. H. Manson, C. E. Meek, E. Fleming, S. Chandra, R. A. Vincent, A. Phillips, S. K. Avery, G. J. Fraser, M. J. Smith, J. L. Fellous, and M. Massebeuf

Abstract

Satellite-radiance data (Nimbus 5, 6; ≤80 km) and the MSIS-83 model have been used to prepare global zonal-mean gradient winds (30–120 km) for the new CIRA-1986. Here these are supplemented by planetary-wave morphology from the same Nimbus data to provide local gradient winds—the zonal wind and the eddy portion of the meridional wind are calculated by this method. These data are then compared with radar-derived wind contours (∼60–110 km), extending the comparisons done earlier (Manson et al.) for heights below 80 km. Overall the agreement for the zonal winds is good, especially below 80 km; differences are shown so the user can evaluate each product. The comparison of meridional winds is particularly valuable and unique as it reveals considerable ageostrophy, particularly in summer months near the height of the zonal wind's reversal from west- to eastward flow. Coriolis torques due to this meridional flow are available from Saskatoon (52°), Poker Flat (65°), and Tromsö (70°) in the Northern Hemisphere, and Adelaide (35°), Christchurch (44°), and Mawson (68°) in the Southern Hemisphere. Values of 60–100 m s−1 day−1 are generally consistent with estimates of the balancing gravity wave momentum deposition made by direct methods at the same locations.

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D. N. Williams, R. Ananthakrishnan, D. E. Bernholdt, S. Bharathi, D. Brown, M. Chen, A. L. Chervenak, L. Cinquini, R. Drach, I. T. Foster, P. Fox, D. Fraser, J. Garcia, S. Hankin, P. Jones, D. E. Middleton, J. Schwidder, R. Schweitzer, R. Schuler, A. Shoshani, F. Siebenlist, A. Sim, W. G. Strand, M. Su, and N. Wilhelmi

By leveraging current technologies to manage distributed climate data in a unified virtual environment, the Earth System Grid (ESG) project is promoting data sharing between international research centers and diverse users. In transforming these data into a collaborative community resource, ESG is changing the way global climate research is conducted.

Since ESG's production beginnings in 2004, its most notable accomplishment was to efficiently store and distribute climate simulation data of some 20 global coupled ocean-atmosphere models to the scores of scientific contributors to the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); the IPCC collective scientific achievement was recognized by the award of a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Other international climate stakeholders such as the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program (NARCCAP) and the developers of the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) and of the Climate Science Computational End Station (CCES) also have endorsed ESG technologies for disseminating data to their respective user communities. In coming years, the recently created Earth System Grid Center for Enabling Technology (ESG-CET) will extend these methods to assist the international climate community in its efforts to better understand the global climate system.

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R. S. Lieberman, W. A. Robinson, S. J. Franke, R. A. Vincent, J. R. Isler, D. C. Fritts, A. H. Manson, C. E. Meek, G. J. Fraser, A. Fahrutdinova, W. Hocking, T. Thayaparan, J. MacDougall, K. Igarashi, T. Nakamura, and T. Tsuda

Abstract

High Resolution Doppler Imager (HRDI) measurements of daytime and nighttime winds at 95 km are used to deduce seasonally averaged Eulerian mean meridional winds during six solstice periods. These estimates are compared with seasonally averaged radar meridional winds and with results from dynamical and empirical wind models. HRDI mean meridional winds are directed from the summer pole toward the winter pole over much of the globe. Peak equatorward winds of about 15 m s−1 are usually observed in the summer hemisphere near 30°. A local minimum in the equatorward winds is often observed poleward of this latitude, with winds approaching zero or reversing direction. A similar structure is seen in contemporaneous radar winds. This behavior differs from residual meridional wind patterns predicted by models. The discrepancies may be related to gravity wave paramaterizations or a consequence of planetary wave influences.

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