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AOSC Seminar
May 4, 2017

Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Tropospheric Clouds observed by MODIS onboard the Terra and Aqua Satellites

Michael King
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado Boulder

Cloud properties have been retrieved from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) over 17 years of continuous observations from Terra and over 14 years from Aqua. A comprehensive set of operational algorithms for the retrieval of cloud physical and optical properties (optical thickness, effective particle radius, water path, thermodynamic phase) have recently been updated using the new ‘Collection 6’ processing stream and are publically available through the MODIS Adaptive Processing System (MODAPS) at NASA GSFC. The archived products from these algorithms include 1 km pixel-level (Level-2) and global gridded (Level-3) products. The cloud products have applications in climate change studies, climate modeling, numerical weather prediction, as well as fundamental atmospheric research. In this talk, I will summarize the available Level-2 and Level-3 cloud properties and their associated statistical data sets, and show Terra and Aqua results from the available Collection 6 reprocessing effort. Results include the latitudinal and spatial distribution of cloud optical and radiative properties for both liquid water and ice clouds, as well as joint histograms of cloud optical thickness and effective radius for selected geographical locations around the world.