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Title: Deriving Arctic Cloud Microphysics at Barrow, Alaska. Algorithms, Results, and Radiative Closure

Cloud phase and microphysical properties control the radiative effects of clouds in the climate system and are therefore crucial to characterize in a variety of conditions and locations. An Arctic-specific, ground-based, multi-sensor cloud retrieval system is described here and applied to two years of observations from Barrow, Alaska. Over these two years, clouds occurred 75% of the time, with cloud ice and liquid each occurring nearly 60% of the time. Liquid water occurred at least 25% of the time even in the winter, and existed up to heights of 8 km. The vertically integrated mass of liquid was typically larger than that of ice. While it is generally difficult to evaluate the overall uncertainty of a comprehensive cloud retrieval system of this type, radiative flux closure analyses were performed where flux calculations using the derived microphysical properties were compared to measurements at the surface and top-of-atmosphere. Radiative closure biases were generally smaller for cloudy scenes relative to clear skies, while the variability of flux closure results was only moderately larger than under clear skies. The best closure at the surface was obtained for liquid-containing clouds. Radiative closure results were compared to those based on a similar, yet simpler, cloud retrievalmore » system. These comparisons demonstrated the importance of accurate cloud phase classification, and specifically the identification of liquid water, for determining radiative fluxes. Enhanced retrievals of liquid water path for thin clouds were also shown to improve radiative flux calculations.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6]
  1. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO (United States). Earth System Research Lab.
  2. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Norman, OK (United States)
  3. Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States)
  4. Science Systems and Applications Inc., Hampton, VA (United States)
  5. Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Lexington, MA (United States)
  6. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1558-8424; KP1704010
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology; Journal Volume: 54; Journal Issue: 7
American Meteorological Society
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States