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Remote Sens. 2011, 3(5), 836-844; doi:10.3390/rs3050836

Global Distribution of Cloud Top Height as Retrieved from SCIAMACHY Onboard ENVISAT Spaceborne Observations

* ,
Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, D-28334 Bremen, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 February 2011 / Revised: 13 April 2011 / Accepted: 19 April 2011 / Published: 27 April 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Remote Sensing)
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The spatial and temporal analysis of the SCanning Imaging Absorption SpectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY (SCIAMACHY) onboard ENVISAT global cloud top height data for 2003–2006 is presented. The cloud top height is derived using a semi-analytical cloud top height retrieval algorithm based on an asymptotic solution of the radiative transfer equation in the oxygen A-band. The analysis is valid for thick clouds only. As expected, clouds are higher in the equatorial region. The cloud altitudes decrease towards the Poles due to the general decrease of the troposphere height. The global average cloud top height as derived from SCIAMACHY measurements is 7.3 km. We also studied the planetary reflectivity R at 443 nm and found that the annual average is R = 0.49 ± 0.08 for the years analyzed.
Keywords: clouds; SCIAMACHY; radiative transfer; reflectance spectra clouds; SCIAMACHY; radiative transfer; reflectance spectra
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Kokhanovsky, A.; Vountas, M.; Burrows, J.P. Global Distribution of Cloud Top Height as Retrieved from SCIAMACHY Onboard ENVISAT Spaceborne Observations. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 836-844.

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