Thermodynamic and cloud parameter retrieval using infrared spectral data

Zhou, D. K., W. Smith, Xu Liu, A. Larar, H. Huang, J. Li, M. McGill, and S. A. Mango (2005), Thermodynamic and cloud parameter retrieval using infrared spectral data, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L15805, doi:10.1029/2005GL023211.

High-resolution infrared radiance spectra obtained from near nadir observations provide atmospheric, surface, and cloud property information. A fast radiative transfer model, including cloud effects, is used for atmospheric profile and cloud parameter retrieval. The retrieval algorithm is presented along with its application to recent field experiment data from the NPOESS Airborne Sounder Testbed – Interferometer (NAST-I). The retrieval accuracy dependence on cloud properties is discussed. It is shown that relatively accurate temperature and moisture retrievals can be achieved below optically thin clouds. For optically thick clouds, accurate temperature and moisture profiles down to cloud top level are obtained. For both optically thin and thick cloud situations, the cloud top height can be retrieved with an accuracy of approximately 1.0 km. Preliminary NAST-I retrieval results from the recent Atlantic-THORPEX Regional Campaign (ATReC) are presented and compared with coincident observations obtained from dropsondes and the nadir-pointing Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL).

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