Characterizing global distributions of dusty cloud using CALIPSO

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Yuhong Helen Yi, Hongchun Jin and Jianping Huang, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
Dust and cloud contribute some of the largest uncertainties to radiative effects and climate feedbacks in the Earth’s climate system. Previous studies have shown that dusty clouds (a combination of dust and cloud) occur frequently in the source (desert) and downwind regions. Dusty clouds present critical difficulties in passive satellite remote sensing because dust often mix and/or underlie cloud and can have complicated microphysical and optical properties. The dusty cloud can lead to significant uncertainties in determining radiative forcing and furthermore the climate feedbacks.

In this study, we introduce recent analyses of dusty clouds using CALIPSO satellite observations, which can provide vertical profiles of aerosols and cloud. We will use six years of CALIPSO data and focus on characterizing the global distributions of dusty clouds. We are particularly interested in the frequency of occurrence and seasonal variations of dusty cloud, cloud layer and dust layer geometrical height and thickness, and the vertical distribution of the mixed layer over the globe.