Evaluating the new NASA S-NPP continuity cloud products for climate research using CALIPSO and L3 analysis

Monday, 14 December 2015: 16:30
3006 (Moscone West)
Robert Holz1, Steven E Platnick2, Steven A Ackerman3, Richard Frey3, Kerry Meyer4, Gala Wind5, Andrew K Heidinger6, Andi Walther7 and Nandana Amarasinghe5, (1)UW SSEC, Madison, WI, United States, (2)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (3)University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI, United States, (4)Universities Space Research Association Greenbelt, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (5)Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Lanham, MD, United States, (6)NOAA/NESDIS, Madison, WI, United States, (7)Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, Madison, WI, United States
The launch of VIIRS and CrIS on Suomi NPP in the fall of 2011 introduced the next generation of U.S. operational polar orbiting environmental observations. Similar to MODIS, VIIRS provides visible and IR observations at moderate spatial resolution and has a 1:30 pm equatorial crossing time consistent with the MODIS on Aqua platform. However unlike MODIS, VIIRS lacks water vapor and CO2 absorbing channels that are used by the MODIS cloud algorithms for both cloud detection and to retrieve cloud top height and cloud emissivity for ice clouds.

Given the different spectral and spatial characteristics of VIIRS, we seek to understand the extent to which the 15-year MODIS climate record can be continued with VIIRS/CrIS observations while maintaining consistent sensitivities across the observational systems. This presentation will focus on the evaluation of the latest version of the NASA funded cloud retrieval algorithms being developed for climate research.

We will present collocated inter-comparisons between the imagers (VIIRS and MODIS Aqua) with CALIPSO as well as long term statistics based on a new Level-3 (L3) product being developed as part the project. The CALIPSO inter-comparisons will focus on cloud detection (cloud mask), cloud-top heights, and cirrus optical thickness. Using CALIPSO as the reference, and applying the same algorithms to VIIRS and MODIS, we will discuss the consistency between products from both imagers. The L3 analysis will focus on the regional and seasonal consistency between the suite of MODIS and VIIRS continuity cloud products. Do systematic biases remains when using consistent algorithms but applied to different observations (MODIS or VIIRS)?