The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP): The First Project of the World Climate Research Programme

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The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) has been approved as the first project of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and will begin its operational phase in July 1983. Its basic objective is to collect and analyze satellite radiance data to infer the global distribution of cloud radiative properties in order to improve the modeling of cloud effects on climate. ISCCP has two components, operational and research. The operational component takes advantage of the global coverage provided by the current and planned international array of geostationary and polar-orbiting meteorological satellites during the 1980s to produce a five-year global satellite radiance and cloud data set. The main and most important characteristic of these data will be their globally uniform coverage of various indices of cloud cover. The research component of ISCCP will coordinate studies to validate the climatology, to improve cloud analysis algorithms, to improve modeling of cloud effects in climate models, and to investigate the role of clouds in the atmosphere's radiation budget and hydrologic cycle. Validation will involve comparative measurements at a number of test areas selected as representative of major (or difficult) cloud types and meteorological conditions. Complimentary efforts within the framework of WCRP will promote the use of the resulting ISCCP data sets in climate research.

1 ISCCP Project Manager; Joint Planning Staff for the WCRP, WMO Secretariat, Geneva, Switzerland; and NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. 20546.

2 NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, N.Y. 10025.

The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) has been approved as the first project of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and will begin its operational phase in July 1983. Its basic objective is to collect and analyze satellite radiance data to infer the global distribution of cloud radiative properties in order to improve the modeling of cloud effects on climate. ISCCP has two components, operational and research. The operational component takes advantage of the global coverage provided by the current and planned international array of geostationary and polar-orbiting meteorological satellites during the 1980s to produce a five-year global satellite radiance and cloud data set. The main and most important characteristic of these data will be their globally uniform coverage of various indices of cloud cover. The research component of ISCCP will coordinate studies to validate the climatology, to improve cloud analysis algorithms, to improve modeling of cloud effects in climate models, and to investigate the role of clouds in the atmosphere's radiation budget and hydrologic cycle. Validation will involve comparative measurements at a number of test areas selected as representative of major (or difficult) cloud types and meteorological conditions. Complimentary efforts within the framework of WCRP will promote the use of the resulting ISCCP data sets in climate research.

1 ISCCP Project Manager; Joint Planning Staff for the WCRP, WMO Secretariat, Geneva, Switzerland; and NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. 20546.

2 NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, N.Y. 10025.

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