Publication Abstracts

Miller et al. 2016

Miller, D.J., Z. Zhang, A.S. Ackerman, S. Platnick, and B.A. Baum, 2016: The impact of cloud vertical profile on liquid water path retrieval based on the bi-spectral method: A theoretical study based on large-eddy simulations of shallow marine boundary-layer clouds. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 121, no. 8, 4122-4141, doi:10.1002/2015JD024322.

Passive optical retrievals of cloud liquid water path (LWP), like those implemented for MODIS, rely on cloud vertical profile assumptions to relate optical thickness (τ) and effective radius (re) retrievals to LWP. These techniques typically assume shallow clouds are vertically homogeneous; however, an adiabatic cloud model is plausibly more realistic for shallow marine boundary layer (MBL) cloud regimes. In this study a satellite retrieval simulator is used to perform MODIS-like satellite retrievals, which in turn are compared directly to the LES output. This satellite simulator creates a framework for rigorous quantification of the impact that vertical profile features have on LWP retrievals, and it accomplishes this while also avoiding sources of bias present in previous observational studies. The cloud vertical profiles from the LES are often more complex than either of the two standard assumptions and the favored assumption was found to be sensitive to cloud regime (cumuliform/stratiform). Confirming previous studies, drizzle and cloud-top entrainment of dry air are identified as physical features that bias LWP retrievals away from adiabatic and toward homogeneous assumptions. The mean bias induced by drizzle-influenced profiles was shown to be on the order of 5-10 g/m2. In contrast, the influence of cloud-top entrainment was found to be smaller by about a factor of 2. A theoretical framework is developed to explain variability in LWP retrievals by introducing modifications to the adiabatic re profile. In addition to analyzing bi-spectral retrievals we also compare results with the vertical profile sensitivity of passive polarimetric retrieval techniques.

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BibTeX Citation

@article{mi00220m,
  author={Miller, D. J. and Zhang, Z. and Ackerman, A. S. and Platnick, S. and Baum, B. A.},
  title={The impact of cloud vertical profile on liquid water path retrieval based on the bi-spectral method: A theoretical study based on large-eddy simulations of shallow marine boundary-layer clouds},
  year={2016},
  journal={J. Geophys. Res. Atmos.},
  volume={121},
  number={8},
  pages={4122--4141},
  doi={10.1002/2015JD024322},
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - JOUR
ID  - mi00220m
AU  - Miller, D. J.
AU  - Zhang, Z.
AU  - Ackerman, A. S.
AU  - Platnick, S.
AU  - Baum, B. A.
PY  - 2016
TI  - The impact of cloud vertical profile on liquid water path retrieval based on the bi-spectral method: A theoretical study based on large-eddy simulations of shallow marine boundary-layer clouds
JA  - J. Geophys. Res. Atmos.
VL  - 121
IS  - 8
SP  - 4122
EP  - 4141
DO  - 10.1002/2015JD024322
ER  -

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