A General Uncertainty Quantification Methodology for Cloud Microphysical Property Retrievals

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 10:20 AM
Qi Tang1, Shaocheng Xie1, Xiao Chen1 and Chuanfeng Zhao2, (1)Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, United States, (2)Beijing Normal University, College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing, China
The US Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program provides long-term (~20 years) ground-based cloud remote sensing observations. However, there are large uncertainties in the retrieval products of cloud microphysical properties based on the active and/or passive remote-sensing measurements. To address this uncertainty issue, a DOE Atmospheric System Research scientific focus study, Quantification of Uncertainties in Cloud Retrievals (QUICR), has been formed. In addition to an overview of recent progress of QUICR, we will demonstrate the capacity of an observation-based general uncertainty quantification (UQ) methodology via the ARM Climate Research Facility baseline cloud microphysical properties (MICROBASE) product. This UQ method utilizes the Karhunen-Loéve expansion (KLE) and Central Limit Theorems (CLT) to quantify the retrieval uncertainties from observations and algorithm parameters. The input perturbations are imposed on major modes to take into account the cross correlations between input data, which greatly reduces the dimension of random variables (up to a factor of 50) and quantifies vertically resolved full probability distribution functions of retrieved quantities. Moreover, this KLE/CLT approach has the capability of attributing the uncertainties in the retrieval output to individual uncertainty source and thus sheds light on improving the retrieval algorithm and observations. We will present the results of a case study for the ice water content at the Southern Great Plains during an intensive observing period on March 9, 2000.

This work is performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.