This work was supported by the European Community and European Space Agency under Contract EV5V-CT 92-0130 (EUCREX-2). The authors are very grateful to Y. Fouquart for the management of EUCREX-2, to A. Macke for providing the scattering matrix of polycrystals, to J. Hovenier and J. de Haan who gave us the opportunity to use their adding–doubling radiative transfer code, and to V. Giraud for his help concerning the analysis of AVHRR data. Thanks are also due to M. Tavet for correcting the English text and to the referees for their constructive remarks and comments.
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