Understanding Seasonal Variability in thin Cirrus Clouds from Continuous MPLNET Observations at GSFC in 2012
1 NASA-JCET, Code 612, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
2 NASA, Code 612, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
3 Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
4 UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
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Published online: 7 June 2016
Optically thin cirrus cloud (optical depth < 0.3) net radiative forcing represents one of the primary uncertainties in climate feedback, as sub-visible clouds play a fundamental role in atmospheric radiation balance and climate change. A lidar is a very sensitive optical device to detect clouds with an optical depth as low as 10−4. In this paper we assess the daytime net radiative forcing of subvisible cirrus clouds detected at Goddard Space Flight Center, a permanent observational site of the NASA Micro Pulse Lidar Network in 2012. Depending on their height, season and hour of the day, the solar albedo effect can outweigh the infrared greenhouse effect, cooling the earthatmosphere system rather than warming it exclusively. As result, based on latitude, the net forcing of sub-visible cirrus clouds can be more accurately parameterized in climate models.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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