Although satellite sensors have monitored global clouds for decades, observational constraints from current satellite-based instruments are nevertheless limited, in part due to noticeable retrieval divergences. In fact, retrievals can be significantly different due to different sensitivities at individual channels. For example, infrared observations have inevitable limitations in global cloud retrievals over a wide cloud dynamic range because of their low sensitivities for optically thick clouds. On the other hand, retrievals with integrated observations in different spectral regions (e.g., combine infrared + visible/near-infrared, or infrared + microwave) may also suffer from inappropriate assumptions in cloud microphysics, and cloud heterogeneity effects.
This presentation will give an overview of recent progresses we made aimed at mitigating inconsistency among retrievals in different spectral regions. It is found that infrared observations, albeit with obvious limitations, play a critical role in helping us reduce retrieval uncertainties and discrepancies. In this talk, I will also introduce some ongoing applications that utilize combined infrared and other instruments in cloud retrievals and nighttime cloud-aerosol interactions.
Seminar Series Coordinators