Cloud ice water content retrieved from the CALIOP space-based lidar

Avery, M., D. Winker, A. Heymsfield, M. Vaughan, S. Young, Y. Hu, and C. Trepte (2012), Cloud ice water content retrieved from the CALIOP space-based lidar, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L05808, doi:10.1029/2011GL050545.

Ice water content (IWC) profiles are derived from retrievals of optical extinction from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) satellite lidar, using a parameterization derived from particle probe measurements acquired during several aircraft field campaigns. With more than five years of data now available, CALIOP IWC is well suited for characterization of the climate-sensitive upper troposphere/lower stratosphere where reliable global IWC measurements are needed to reduce climate model uncertainty. We describe CALIOP IWC and compare it with global satellite-based and regional airborne IWC measurements made during August 2007. IWC distributions in a convective cloud sampled during the Tropical Clouds, Chemistry, Composition and Climate experiment show temperature-dependent differences between in situ measured IWC, IWC retrieved from CloudSat and CALIOP, and IWC parameterized from the airborne Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL) 532 nm volume extinction coefficients. At temperatures above -50 C the CALIOP IWC retrieval indicates less cloud ice than the other instruments, due to signal attenuation and screening for horizontally-oriented ice crystals. Above 12 km where temperatures drop below -50 C CALIOP compares well with in situ IWC measurements. In situ measurements are limited above 12 km, and more cold-temperature comparisons are needed. Global zonal incloud IWC averages at altitudes above 9 km show that CloudSat IWC is roughly an order of magnitude higher than CALIOP IWC, consistent with a higher detection threshold. When averaged to the vertical resolution characteristic of Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS), global zonal averages of CALIOP and MLS IWC were found to agree to about +/-50%.

PDF of Publication: 
Download from publisher's website.
Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)