Evaluation of a GCM cirrus parameterization using satellite observations

Brian J Soden, L. J. Donner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The methodology combines large-scale dynamic and thermodynamic fields from operational analyses with prescribed occurrence of cirrus clouds from satellite observations to simulate a global distribution of ice water path. The predicted cloud properties are then compared with the corresponding satellite measurements of visible optical depth and infrared cloud emissivity to evaluate the reliability of the parameterization. Overall the parameterization performs remarkably well in capturing the observed spatial patterns of cirrus optical properties. Spatial correlations between the observed and the predicted optical depths are typically greater than 0.7 for the tropics and Northern Hemisphere midlatitudes. The good spatial agreement largely stems from the strong dependence of the ice water path upon the temperature of the environment in which the clouds form. Poorer correlations (r ~ 0.3) are noted over the Southern Hemisphere midlatitudes. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume99
Issue numberD7
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

satellite observation
cirrus
Parameterization
parameterization
general circulation model
temperate regions
Satellites
optical thickness
evaluation
Ice
ice
optical depth
cirrus clouds
Southern Hemisphere
Northern Hemisphere
hemispheres
emissivity
stems
tropical regions
Tropics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Evaluation of a GCM cirrus parameterization using satellite observations. / Soden, Brian J; Donner, L. J.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 99, No. D7, 1994.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AB - The methodology combines large-scale dynamic and thermodynamic fields from operational analyses with prescribed occurrence of cirrus clouds from satellite observations to simulate a global distribution of ice water path. The predicted cloud properties are then compared with the corresponding satellite measurements of visible optical depth and infrared cloud emissivity to evaluate the reliability of the parameterization. Overall the parameterization performs remarkably well in capturing the observed spatial patterns of cirrus optical properties. Spatial correlations between the observed and the predicted optical depths are typically greater than 0.7 for the tropics and Northern Hemisphere midlatitudes. The good spatial agreement largely stems from the strong dependence of the ice water path upon the temperature of the environment in which the clouds form. Poorer correlations (r ~ 0.3) are noted over the Southern Hemisphere midlatitudes. -from Authors

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