Radiative effects of global MODIS cloud regimes

Oreopoulos, L., N. Cho, D. Lee, and S. Kato (2016), Radiative effects of global MODIS cloud regimes, J. Geophys. Res., 121, 2299-2317, doi:10.1002/2015JD024502.

We update previously published Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) global cloud regimes (CRs) using the latest MODIS cloud retrievals in the Collection 6 data set. We implement a slightly different derivation method, investigate the composition of the regimes, and then proceed to examine several aspects of CR radiative appearance with the aid of various radiative flux data sets. Our results clearly show that the CRs are radiatively distinct in terms of shortwave, longwave, and their combined (total) cloud radiative effect. We show that we can clearly distinguish regimes based on whether they radiatively cool or warm the atmosphere, and thanks to radiative heating profiles, to discern the vertical distribution of cooling and warming. Terra and Aqua comparisons provide information about the degree to which morning and afternoon occurrences of regimes affect the symmetry of CR radiative contribution. We examine how the radiative discrepancies among multiple irradiance data sets suffering from imperfect spatiotemporal matching depend on CR and whether they are therefore related to the complexity of cloud structure, its interpretation by different observational systems, and its subsequent representation in radiative transfer calculations.

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Research Program: 
Climate Variability and Change Program
Energy & Water Cycle Program (EWCP)
Modeling Analysis and Prediction Program (MAP)
Radiation Science Program (RSP)