Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-391
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-391

  15 Dec 2021

15 Dec 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Evaluating the Consistency and Continuity of Pixel-Scale Cloud Property Data Records From Aqua and SNPP

Qing Yue1, Eric J. Fetzer1, Likun Wang2, Brian H. Kahn1, Nadia Smith3, John M. Blaisdell4, Kerry G. Meyer5, Mathias Schreier1, Bjorn Lambrigtsen1, and Irina Tkatcheva1 Qing Yue et al.
  • 1Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA
  • 2Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, 5825 University Research Court, Suite 4001, College Park, MD 20740
  • 3Science and Technology Corporation, 10015 Old Columbia Road, Columbia, MD 21046
  • 4Science Applications International Corporation, 12010 Sunset Hills Road, Reston, VA 20190
  • 5NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD

Abstract. The Aqua, SNPP, and JPSS satellites carry a combination of hyperspectral infrared sounders (AIRS, CrIS) and high-spatial-resolution narrowband imagers (MODIS, VIIRS). They provide an opportunity to acquire high-quality long-term cloud data records and are a key component of the existing Program of Record of cloud observations. By matching observations from sounders and imagers across different platforms at pixel scale, this study evaluates the self-consistency and continuity of cloud retrievals from Aqua and SNPP by multiple algorithms, including the AIRS Version-7 retrieval algorithm and the Community Long-term Infrared Microwave Combined Atmospheric Product System (CLIMCAPS) Version-2 for sounders, and the Standard Aqua-MODIS Collection-6.1 and the NASA MODIS-VIIRS continuity cloud products for imagers. Metrics describing detailed statistical distributions at sounder field of view (FOV) and the joint histograms of cloud properties are evaluated. These products are found highly consistent despite their retrieval from different sensors using different algorithms. Differences between the two sounder cloud products are mainly due to cloud clearing and treatment of clouds in scenes with unsuccessful atmospheric profile retrievals. The sounder subpixel cloud heterogeneity evaluated using the standard deviation of imager retrievals at sounder FOV shows good agreement between the standard and continuity products from different satellites. However, impact of algorithm and instrument differences between MODIS and VIIRS is revealed in cloud top pressure retrievals and in the imager cloud distribution skewness. Our study presents a unique aspect to examine NASA’s progress toward building a continuous cloud data record with sufficient quality to investigate clouds’ role in global environmental change.

Qing Yue et al.

Status: open (until 19 Jan 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2021-391', Anonymous Referee #2, 25 Dec 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'review of amt-2021-391', Anonymous Referee #1, 06 Jan 2022 reply

Qing Yue et al.

Qing Yue et al.

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Short summary
The self-consistency and continuity of cloud retrievals from infrared sounders and imagers aboard Aqua and SNPP are examined at pixel scale. Various cloud products are found highly consistent with each other. Differences between sounder products are mainly due to cloud clearing and the treatment of clouds in scenes with unsuccessful atmospheric retrievals. Impact of algorithm and instrument differences is clearly seen in the imager cloud retrievals.