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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/amt-2016-263
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
29 Sep 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Differences in cloud microphysical properties between MODIS Collections 5.1 and 6
John Rausch1, Kerry Meyer2,3, Ralf Bennartz1,4, and Steven Platnick3 1Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37235, USA
2Goddard Earth Science Technology and Research, Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, MD 21046, USA
3NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, 20771, USA
4Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
Abstract. Differences in cloud effective radius and cloud droplet number concentration (CDNC) estimates inferred from the Aqua MODIS Collections 5.1 and 6 cloud products (MYD06) are examined for warm clouds over global oceans for the year 2008. Individual pixel level retrievals for both collections are aggregated to 1°×1° and compared globally and regionally for the three main spectral channel pairs used for MODIS cloud optical property retrievals. Comparisons between both collections are performed for cases in which all channel pairs are successfully retrieved for each pixel and for cases where one or more channel pairs are successful. The contribution to the observed differences of several key MYD06 Collection 6 algorithm updates are also explored. Global results show a neutral to positive (> 50 cm−3) change for C6-derived CDNC relative to C5.1 for the 1.6 and 2.1 μm channel retrievals corresponding to a neutral to −2 μm difference in droplet effective radius. For 3.7 μm retrievals, CDNC results show a negative change in the tropics, with differences transitioning towards positive values with increasing latitude spanning (−25 to +50 cm−3) related to a (+2.5 to −1 μm) transition in effective radius. Regionally, the magnitude and behavior of the annual CDNC cycle are compared for each retrieval channel pair. Results from this study indicate significant intercollection differences in aggregated values of microphysical parameters which may have implications for existing MODIS derived climatologies and validation studies.

Citation: Rausch, J., Meyer, K., Bennartz, R., and Platnick, S.: Differences in cloud microphysical properties between MODIS Collections 5.1 and 6, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., doi:10.5194/amt-2016-263, in review, 2016.
John Rausch et al.
John Rausch et al.
John Rausch et al.

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Short summary
This paper documents the observed differences in the aggregated (Level-3) cloud droplet number concentration estimates inferred from the Aqua MODIS Cloud Product Collections 5.1 and 6 for warm oceanic cloud scenes over the year 2008. We note significant differences in droplet concentration between the two products and discuss the algorithmic and calibration changes which may contribute to observed results.
This paper documents the observed differences in the aggregated (Level-3) cloud droplet number...
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