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Bing Lin, Takmeng Wong, Bruce A. Wielicki, and Yongxiang Hu
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Bing Lin, Takmeng Wong, Bruce A. Wielicki, and Yongxiang Hu

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Recent studies of the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS) nonscanner radiation data indicate decadal changes in tropical cloudiness and unexpected radiative anomalies between the 1980s and 1990s. In this study, the ERBS decadal observations are compared with the predictions of the Iris hypothesis using 3.5-box model. To further understand the predictions, the tropical radiative properties observed from recent Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) radiation budget experiment [the NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) parameters] are used to replace the modeled values in the Iris hypothesis. The predicted variations of the radiation fields strongly depend on the relationship (−22% K−1) of tropical high cloud and sea surface temperature (SST) assumed by the Iris hypothesis.

On the decadal time scale, the predicted tropical mean radiative flux anomalies are generally significantly different from those of the ERBS measurements, suggesting that the decadal ERBS nonscanner radiative energy budget measurements do not support the strong negative feedback of the Iris effect. Poor agreements between the satellite data and model predictions even when the tropical radiative properties from CERES observations (LaRC parameters) are used imply that besides the Iris-modeled tropical radiative properties, the unrealistic variations of tropical high cloud generated from the detrainment of deep convection with SST assumed by the Iris hypothesis are likely to be another major factor for causing the deviation between the predictions and observations.

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Bing Lin, Bruce A. Wielicki, Patrick Minnis, Lin Chambers, Kuan-Man Xu, Yongxiang Hu, and Alice Fan

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This study uses measurements of radiation and cloud properties taken between January and August 1998 by three Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) instruments, the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) scanner, the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI), and the Visible and Infrared Scanner (VIRS), to evaluate the variations of tropical deep convective systems (DCSs) with sea surface temperature and precipitation. The authors find that DCS precipitation efficiency increases with SST at a rate of ∼2% K−1. Despite increasing rainfall efficiency, the cloud areal coverage rises with SST at a rate of about 7% K−1 in the warm tropical seas. There, the boundary layer moisture supply for deep convection and the moisture transported to the upper troposphere for cirrus anvil cloud formation increase by ∼6.3% and ∼4.0% K−1, respectively. The changes in cloud formation efficiency, along with the increased transport of moisture available for cloud formation, likely contribute to the large rate of increasing DCS areal coverage. Although no direct observations are available, the increase of cloud formation efficiency with rising SST is deduced indirectly from measurements of changes in the ratio of DCS ice water path and boundary layer water vapor amount with SST. Besides the cloud areal coverage, DCS cluster effective sizes also increase with precipitation. Furthermore, other cloud properties, such as cloud total water and ice water paths, increase with SST. These changes in DCS properties will produce a negative radiative feedback for the earth’s climate system due to strong reflection of shortwave radiation by the DCS. These results significantly differ from some previously hypothesized dehydration scenarios for warmer climates, partially support the thermostat hypothesis but indicate a smaller magnitude of the negative feedback, and have great potential in testing current cloud-system-resolving models and convective parameterizations of general circulation models.

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Lin Chambers, Bing Lin, Bruce Wielicki, Yongxiang Hu, and Kuan-Man Xu
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Jeffrey Koskulics, Steven Englehardt, Steven Long, Yongxiang Hu, Matteo Ottaviani, and Knut Stamnes

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Submerged objects viewed through wavy water surfaces appear distorted by refraction. An imaging system exploiting this effect is implemented using a submerged planar light source designed so that color images reveal features of small-amplitude waves in a wind-wave tank. The system is described by a nonlinear model of image formation based on the geometry of refraction, spectral emission from the light source, radiative transfer through the water and surface, and camera spectral response. Surface normal vector components are retrieved from the color image data using an iterative solution to the nonlinear model. The surface topography is then retrieved using a linear model that combines surface normal data with a priori constraints on elevation and curvature. The high-resolution topographic data reveal small-amplitude waves spanning wavelength scales from capillary through short gravity wave regimes. The system capabilities are demonstrated in the retrieval of test surfaces, and of a case of wind-driven waves, using data collected at high spatial and temporal resolution in a wave tank. The approach of using a physical model of image formation with inverse solution methods provides an example of how surface topography can be retrieved and may be applicable to data from other similar instruments.

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Chen Zhou, Ping Yang, Andrew E. Dessler, Yongxiang Hu, and Bryan A. Baum

Abstract

Data from the Cloud–Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) indicate that horizontally oriented ice crystals (HOIC) occur frequently in both ice and mixed-phase clouds. When compared with the case for clouds consisting of randomly oriented ice crystals (ROIC), lidar measurements from clouds with HOIC, such as horizontally oriented hexagonal plates or columns, have stronger backscatter signals and smaller depolarization ratio values. In this study, a 3D Monte Carlo model is developed for simulating the CALIOP signals from clouds consisting of a mixture of quasi HOIC and ROIC. With CALIOP’s initial orientation with a pointing angle of 0.3° off nadir, the integrated attenuated backscatter is linearly related to the percentage of HOIC but is negatively related to the depolarization ratio. At a later time in the CALIOP mission, the pointing angle of the incident beam was changed to 3° off nadir to minimize the signal from HOIC. In this configuration, both the backscatter and the depolarization ratio are similar for clouds containing HOIC and ROIC. Horizontally oriented columns with two opposing prism facets perpendicular to the lidar beam and horizontally oriented plates show similar backscattering features, but the effect of columns is negligible in comparison with that of plates because the plates have relatively much larger surfaces facing the incident lidar beam. From the comparison between the CALIOP simulations and observations, it is estimated that the percentage of quasi-horizontally oriented plates ranges from 0% to 6% in optically thick mixed-phase clouds, from 0% to 3% in warm ice clouds (>−35°C), and from 0% to 0.5% in cold ice clouds.

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Bing Lin, Bruce A. Wielicki, Lin H. Chambers, Yongxiang Hu, and Kuan-Man Xu

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Using the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite measurements over tropical oceans, this study evaluates the iris hypothesis recently proposed by Lindzen et al. that tropical upper-tropospheric anvils act as a strong negative feedback in the global climate system. The modeled radiative fluxes of Lindzen et al. are replaced by the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) directly observed broadband radiation fields. The observations show that the clouds have much higher albedos and moderately larger longwave fluxes than those assumed by Lindzen et al. As a result, decreases in these clouds would cause a significant but weak positive feedback to the climate system, instead of providing a strong negative feedback.

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Shaima L. Nasiri, Bryan A. Baum, Andrew J. Heymsfield, Ping Yang, Michael R. Poellot, David P. Kratz, and Yongxiang Hu

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Detailed in situ data from cirrus clouds have been collected during dedicated field campaigns, but the use of the size and habit distribution data has been lagging in the development of more realistic cirrus scattering models. In this study, the authors examine the use of in situ cirrus data collected during three field campaigns to develop more realistic midlatitude cirrus microphysical models. Data are used from the First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) Regional Experiment (FIRE)-I (1986) and FIRE-II (1991) campaigns and from a recent Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program campaign held in March–April of 2000. The microphysical models are based on measured vertical distributions of both particle size and particle habit and are used to develop new scattering models for a suite of moderate-resolution imaging spectoradiometer (MODIS) bands spanning visible, near-infrared, and infrared wavelengths. The sensitivity of the resulting scattering properties to the underlying assumptions of the assumed particle size and habit distributions are examined. It is found that the near-infrared bands are sensitive not only to the discretization of the size distribution but also to the assumed habit distribution. In addition, the results indicate that the effective diameter calculated from a given size distribution tends to be sensitive to the number of size bins that are used to discretize the data and also to the ice-crystal habit distribution.

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Bryan A. Baum, Ping Yang, Andrew J. Heymsfield, Carl G. Schmitt, Yu Xie, Aaron Bansemer, Yong-Xiang Hu, and Zhibo Zhang

Abstract

This study summarizes recent improvements in the development of bulk scattering/absorption models at solar wavelengths. The approach combines microphysical measurements from various field campaigns with single-scattering properties for nine habits including droxtals, plates, solid/hollow columns, solid/hollow bullet rosettes, and several types of aggregates. Microphysical measurements are incorporated from a number of recent field campaigns in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. A set of 12 815 particle size distributions is used for which T cld ≤ −40°C. The ice water content in the microphysical data spans six orders of magnitude. For evaluation, a library of ice-particle single-scattering properties is employed for 101 wavelengths between 0.4 and 2.24 μm. The library includes the full phase matrix as well as properties for smooth, moderately roughened, and severely roughened particles. Habit mixtures are developed for generalized cirrus, midlatitude cirrus, and deep tropical convection. The single-scattering properties are integrated over particle size and wavelength using an assumed habit mixture to develop bulk scattering and absorption properties. In comparison with global Cloud Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) data, models built with severely roughened particles compare best for all habit mixtures. The assumption of smooth particles provided the largest departure from CALIOP measurements. The use of roughened rather than smooth particles to infer optical thickness and effective diameter from satellite imagery such as the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) will result in a decrease in optical thickness and an increase in particle size.

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Chenxi Wang, Ping Yang, Bryan A. Baum, Steven Platnick, Andrew K. Heidinger, Yongxiang Hu, and Robert E. Holz

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A computationally efficient radiative transfer model (RTM) is developed for the inference of ice cloud optical thickness and effective particle size from satellite-based infrared (IR) measurements and is aimed at potential use in operational cloud-property retrievals from multispectral satellite imagery. The RTM employs precomputed lookup tables to simulate the top-of-the-atmosphere (TOA) radiances (or brightness temperatures) at 8.5-, 11-, and 12-μm bands. For the clear-sky atmosphere, the optical thickness of each atmospheric layer resulting from gaseous absorption is derived from the correlated-k-distribution method. The cloud reflectance, transmittance, emissivity, and effective temperature are precomputed using the Discrete Ordinate Radiative Transfer model (DISORT). For an atmosphere containing a semitransparent ice cloud layer with a visible optical thickness τ smaller than 5, the TOA brightness temperature differences (BTDs) between the fast model and the more rigorous DISORT results are less than 0.1 K, whereas the BTDs are less than 0.01 K if τ is larger than 10. With the proposed RTM, the cloud optical and microphysical properties are retrieved from collocated observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) in conjunction with the Modern Era Retrospective-Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA) data. Comparisons between the retrieved ice cloud properties (optical thickness and effective particle size) based on the present IR fast model and those from the Aqua/MODIS operational collection-5 cloud products indicate that the IR retrievals are smaller. A comparison between the IR-retrieved ice water path (IWP) and CALIOP-retrieved IWP shows robust agreement over most of the IWP range.

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