Publication Abstracts

Rossow et al. 2005

Rossow, W.B., Y.-C. Zhang, and J. Wang, 2005: A statistical model of cloud vertical structure based on reconciling cloud layer amounts inferred from satellites and radiosonde humidity profiles. J. Climate, 18, 3587-3605, doi:10.1175/JCLI3479.1.

To diagnose how cloud processes feedback on weather- and climate-scale variations of the atmosphere requires determining the changes clouds produce in the atmospheric diabatic heating by radiation and precipitation at the same scales of variation. In particular, not only the magnitude of these changes must be quantified but their correlation with atmospheric temperature variations, hence the space-time resolution of the cloud perturbations must be sufficient to account for the majority of these variations. Although extensive new global cloud and radiative flux datasets have recently become available, the vertical profiles of clouds and consequent radiative flux divergence have not been systematically measured covering weather-scale variations from about 100 km, 3h up to climate-scale variations of 10,000 km, decadal, inclusive. By combining the statistics of cloud layer occurrence from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project and an analysis of radiosonde humidity profiles, we have developed a statistical model that associates each cloud type, recognizable from satellite measurements, with a particular cloud vertical structure. Application of this model to the ISCCP cloud layer amounts produces estimates of low-level cloud amounts and average cloud base pressures that are quantitatively closer to observations based on surface weather observations, capturing the variations with latitude and season and land and ocean (results are less good in the polar regions). The main advantage of this statistical model is that the correlations of cloud vertical structure with meteorology are qualitatively similar to "classical" information relating cloud properties to weather. These results can be evaluated and improved with the advent of satellites that can directly probe cloud vertical structures over the globe, providing statistics with changing meteorological conditions.

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BibTeX Citation

@article{ro04700p,
  author={Rossow, W. B. and Zhang, Y.-C. and Wang, J.},
  title={A statistical model of cloud vertical structure based on reconciling cloud layer amounts inferred from satellites and radiosonde humidity profiles},
  year={2005},
  journal={J. Climate},
  volume={18},
  pages={3587--3605},
  doi={10.1175/JCLI3479.1},
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - JOUR
ID  - ro04700p
AU  - Rossow, W. B.
AU  - Zhang, Y.-C.
AU  - Wang, J.
PY  - 2005
TI  - A statistical model of cloud vertical structure based on reconciling cloud layer amounts inferred from satellites and radiosonde humidity profiles
JA  - J. Climate
VL  - 18
SP  - 3587
EP  - 3605
DO  - 10.1175/JCLI3479.1
ER  -

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