Cirrus Cloud Radiative Characteristics from Continuous MPLNET Profiling at GSFC in 2012

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Simone Lolli, NASA GSFC (JCET-UMBC), Greenbelt, MD, United States, Jasper R Lewis, Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology, Baltimore, MD, United States, James R Campbell, Naval Research Lab, Monterey, CA, United States, Ellsworth Judd Welton, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States and Yu Gu, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States
We investigate cirrus cloud impact on top-of-atmosphere and surface radiative fluxes by pairing the Fu-Liou-Gu model with MPLNET lidar measurements at Goddard Space Flight Center in 2012. Seasonal and diurnal flux characteristics, including variance, are discussed, based on a cloud sample approaching 105 observations collected that year. Conceptual depictions of bulk annual cirrus effect are proposed as a function of cloud top height, layer depths and optical depth. We highlight those conditions for which cirrus forcing oscillates between positive and negative at the surface; a characteristic mostly unique to cirrus within the climate system. As this work represents an initial step toward implementing cirrus cloud radiative flux estimates as an operative MPLNET Level 2 product, we motivate the discussion through the continuing need for satellite and model verification datasets that improve cirrus physical characterization over varying climate regimes.