An exploration of applications using retrievals of droplet size distribution dispersion from space
The size distribution of liquid cloud droplets plays an important role in defining different cloud behaviors ranging from light scattering and precipitation development processes. As a consequence the size distribution can be used to identify physical processes going on in the cloud. From a remote sensing perspective, the cloud droplet size distribution is often described using a two-parameter gamma distribution defined in terms of the effective radius re and effective variance ve. The cloud droplet effective radius has the most direct impact on scattered light as it is directly related to the mean scattering cross section of droplets. As a consequence re has long been a cloud remote sensing (e.g. the MODIS Cloud Products) retrieval. The effective variance, in contrast, has a limited impact on the intensity of reflected light, and as a consequence cannot typically be retrieved by intensity based observations alone. However, measurements of polarized reflected light are sensitive to both the re and ve, providing the possibility of retrieving the full droplet size distribution shape. Despite being a retrievable variable, very little has been written about applications of ve retrievals to understand scientific questions about cloud development and precipitation processes. In this study we will explore the additional information provided by ve how that information could be useful for further modeling and process studies.
613 Seminar Series Coordinators
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Wednesday, May 6, 2020
1:30 pm | Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00) | 1 hr
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