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https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-413
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
04 Dec 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).
Cloud heterogeneity effects on cloud and aerosol above cloud properties retrieved from simulated total and polarized reflectances
Céline Cornet1, Laurent C-Labonnote1, Frédéric Szczap2, Lucia Deaconu1, Fabien Waquet1, Frédéric Parol1, Claudine Vanbauce1, François Thieuleux1, and Jérôme Riédi1 1Université Lille, CNRS, UMR 8518 – LOA – Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique, 59000 Lille, France
2Université Clermont Auvergne, CNRS, UMR 6016, Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
Abstract. Simulations of total and polarized cloud reflectance angular signatures such as the ones measured by the multi-angular and polarized radiometer POLDER3/PARASOL are used to evaluate cloud heterogeneity effects on cloud parameter retrievals. Effects on optical thickness, cloud albedo, effective radius and variance of the cloud droplet size distribution and aerosol above cloud optical thickness are analyzed. Three different clouds having the same mean optical thicknesses were generated: the first one with a flat top, the second one with a bumpy top and the last one with a fractional cloud cover. At small scale (50 m), for oblique solar incidence, the illumination effects lead to higher total but also polarized reflectances. The polarized reflectances even reach values that cannot be predicted by the 1D homogeneous cloud assumption. At the POLDER scale (7 km × 7 km), the angular signature is modified by a combination of the plane-parallel bias and the shadowing and illumination effects. In order to quantify effects of cloud heterogeneity on operational products, we ran the POLDER operational algorithms on the simulated reflectances to retrieve the cloud optical thickness and albedo. Results show that the cloud optical thickness is greatly affected: biases can reach up to −70 %, −50 % or +40 % for backward, nadir and forward viewing directions respectively. Concerning the cloud albedo, the errors are smaller, between −4.7 % for solar incidence angle of 20° and up to about 8 % for solar incidence angle of 60°. We also tested the heterogeneity effects on new algorithms that allow retrieving cloud droplet size distribution and cloud top pressures and also aerosol above clouds. Contrarily to the bi-spectral method, the retrieved cloud droplet size parameters are not significantly affected by the cloud heterogeneity, which proves to be a great advantage of using polarized measurements. However the cloud top pressure obtained from molecular scattering in the forward direction can be biased up to 120 hPa (around 1 km). Concerning the aerosol optical thickness (AOT) above cloud, the results are different depending on the available angular information. Above the fractional cloud, when only side scattering angles are available, the AOT can be underestimated because of the plane-parallel bias. For solar zenith angle of 60°, on contrary, it is overestimated because the polarized reflectances are increased in forward directions.

Citation: Cornet, C., C-Labonnote, L., Szczap, F., Deaconu, L., Waquet, F., Parol, F., Vanbauce, C., Thieuleux, F., and Riédi, J.: Cloud heterogeneity effects on cloud and aerosol above cloud properties retrieved from simulated total and polarized reflectances, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2017-413, in review, 2017.
Céline Cornet et al.
Céline Cornet et al.
Céline Cornet et al.

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Short summary
Simulations of total and polarized cloud reflectance angular signatures such as the ones measured by the multi-angular and polarized radiometer POLDER3/PARASOL are used to evaluate cloud heterogeneity effects on cloud parameter retrievals. Cloud optical thickness and cloud top pressure are greatly affected. Cloud albedo and droplet size parameters using polarized reflectances less or not. In case of fractional cloud, aerosols above cloud optical thickness can also be biased.
Simulations of total and polarized cloud reflectance angular signatures such as the ones...
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