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On the Optimal Method for Evaluating Cloud Products from Passive Satellite Imagery Using Calipso-caliop Data: Example Investigating the Cm Saf Clara-a1 Dataset : Volume 6, Issue 5 (15/05/2013)

By Karlsson, K.-g.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003999092
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 16
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: On the Optimal Method for Evaluating Cloud Products from Passive Satellite Imagery Using Calipso-caliop Data: Example Investigating the Cm Saf Clara-a1 Dataset : Volume 6, Issue 5 (15/05/2013)  
Author: Karlsson, K.-g.
Volume: Vol. 6, Issue 5
Language: English
Subject: Science, Atmospheric, Measurement
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Johansson, E., & Karlsson, K. (2013). On the Optimal Method for Evaluating Cloud Products from Passive Satellite Imagery Using Calipso-caliop Data: Example Investigating the Cm Saf Clara-a1 Dataset : Volume 6, Issue 5 (15/05/2013). Retrieved from

Description: Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden. A method for detailed evaluation of a new satellite-derived global 28 yr cloud and radiation climatology (Climate Monitoring SAF Clouds, Albedo and Radiation from AVHRR data, named CLARA-A1) from polar-orbiting NOAA and Metop satellites is presented. The method combines 1 km and 5 km resolution cloud datasets from the CALIPSO-CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation – Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization) cloud lidar for estimating cloud detection limitations and the accuracy of cloud top height estimations.

Cloud detection is shown to work efficiently for clouds with optical thicknesses above 0.30 except for at twilight conditions when this value increases to 0.45. Some misclassifications of cloud-free surfaces during daytime were revealed for semi-arid land areas in the sub-tropical and tropical regions leading to up to 20% overestimated cloud amounts. In addition, a substantial fraction (at least 20–30%) of all clouds remains undetected in the polar regions during the polar winter season due to the lack of or an inverted temperature contrast between Earth surfaces and clouds.

Subsequent cloud top height evaluation took into account the derived information about the cloud detection limits. It was shown that this has fundamental importance for the achieved results. An overall bias of −274 m was achieved compared to a bias of −2762 m when no measures were taken to compensate for cloud detection limitations. Despite this improvement it was concluded that high-level clouds still suffer from substantial height underestimations, while the opposite is true for low-level (boundary layer) clouds.

The validation method and the specifically collected satellite dataset with optimal matching in time and space are suggested for a wider use in the future for evaluation of other cloud retrieval methods based on passive satellite imagery.

On the optimal method for evaluating cloud products from passive satellite imagery using CALIPSO-CALIOP data: example investigating the CM SAF CLARA-A1 dataset

Bodas-Salcedo, A., Webb, M. J., Bony, S., Chepfer, H., Dufresne, J.-L., Klein, S. A., Zhang, Y., Marchand, R., Haynes, J. M., Pincus, R., and John, V. O.: COSP: Satellite simulation software for model assessment, B. Am. Meteorol. Soc., 92, 1023–1043m doi:10.1175/2011BAMS2856.1, 2011.; Cesana, G., Kay, J. E., Chepfer, H., English, J. M., and de Boer, G.: Ubiquitous low-level liquid-containing Arctic clouds: New observations and climate model constraints from CALIPSO-GOCCP, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L20804, doi:10.1029/2012GL053385, 2012.; Chepfer, H., Bony, S., Winker, D., Cesana, G., Dufresne, J. L., Minnis, P., Stubenrauch, C. J., and Zeng, S.: The GCM-Oriented CALIPSO Cloud Product (CALIPSO-GOCCP), J. Geophys. Res., 115, D00H16, doi:10.1029/2009JD012251, 2010.; Dee, D. P., Uppala, S. M., Simmons, A. J., Berrisford, P., Poli, P., Kobayashi, S., Andrae, U., Balmaseda, M. A., Balsamo, G., Bauer, P., Bechtold, P., Beljaars, A. C. M., van de Berg, L., Bidlot, J., Bormann, N., Delsol, C., Dragani, R., Fuentes, M., Geer, A. J., Haimberger, L., Healy, S. B., Hersbach, H., Hólm, E. V., Isaksen, L., Kållberg, P., Köhler, M., Matricardi, M., McNally, A. P., Monge-Sanz, B. M., Morcrette, J.-J., Park, B.-K., Peubey, C., de Rosnay, P., Tavolato, C., Thépaut, J.-N., and Vitart, F.: The ERA-Interim reanalysis: configuration and performance of the data assimilation system, Q. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc., 137, 553–-597, doi:10.1002/qj.828, 2011.; Delanoë, J., Hogan, R. J., Forbes, R. M., Bodas-Salcedo, A., and Stein, T. H. M.: Evaluation of ice cloud representation in the ECMWF and UK Met Office models using CloudSat and CALIPSO data, Q. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc., 137, 2064–2078, doi:10.1002/qj.882, 2011.; Devasthale, A. and Thomas, M. A.: A global survey of aerosol-liquid water cloud overlap based on four years of CALIPSO-CALIOP data, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 1143–1154, doi:10.5194/acp-11-1143-2011, 2011.; Dybbroe, A., Thoss, A., and Karlsson, K.-G.: NWCSAF AVHRR cloud detection and analysis using dynamic thresholds and radiative transfer modelling – Part I: Algorithm description, J. Appl. Meteorol., 44, 39–54, 2005.; Haladay, T. and Stephens, G. : Characteristics of tropical thin cirrus clouds deduced from joint CloudSat and CALIPSO observations, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D00A25, doi:10.1029/2008JD010675, 2009.; Heidinger, A. K. and Pavolonis, M. J.: Gazing at Cirrus Clouds for 25 Years through a Split Window. Part I: Methodology, J. Appl. Meteorol. Clim., 48, 1100–1116, doi:10.1175/2008JAMC1882.1, 2009.; Heidinger, A. K., Evan, A. T., Foster, M. J., and Walther, A.: A Naive Bayesian Cloud-Detection Scheme Derived from CALIPSO and Applied within PATMOS-x, J. Appl. Meteorol. Clim., 51, 1129–1144, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-11-02.1, 2012.; Holz, R. E., Ackerman, S. A., Nagle, F. W., Frey, R., Dutcher, S., Kuehn, R. E., Vaughan, M. A., and Baum, B.: Global Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) cloud detection and height evaluation using CALIOP, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D00A19, doi:10.1029/2008JD009837, 2008.; Karlsson, K.-G. and Dybbroe, A.: Evaluation of Arctic cloud products from the EUMETSAT Climate Monitoring Satellite Application Facility based on CALIPSO-CALIOP observations, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 1789–1807, doi:10.5194/acp-10-1789-2010, 2010.; Karlsson, K.-G.


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