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Atmosphere 2013, 4(1), 48-71; doi:10.3390/atmos4010048
Article

Characterizing a New Surface-Based Shortwave Cloud Retrieval Technique, Based on Transmitted Radiance for Soil and Vegetated Surface Types

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Received: 19 December 2012; in revised form: 7 March 2013 / Accepted: 13 March 2013 / Published: 19 March 2013
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Abstract: This paper presents an approach using the GEneralized Nonlinear Retrieval Analysis (GENRA) tool and general inverse theory diagnostics including the maximum likelihood solution and the Shannon information content to investigate the performance of a new spectral technique for the retrieval of cloud optical properties from surface based transmittance measurements. The cumulative retrieval information over broad ranges in cloud optical thickness (τ), droplet effective radius (re), and overhead sun angles is quantified under two conditions known to impact transmitted radiation; the variability in land surface albedo and atmospheric water vapor content. Our conclusions are: (1) the retrieved cloud properties are more sensitive to the natural variability in land surface albedo than to water vapor content; (2) the new spectral technique is more accurate (but still imprecise) than a standard approach, in particular for τ between 5 and 60 and re less than approximately 20 μm; and (3) the retrieved cloud properties are dependent on sun angle for clouds of  from 5 to 10 and re < 10 μm, with maximum sensitivity obtained for an overhead sun.
Keywords: radiation: transmission and scattering; remote sensing; clouds and aerosols; Shannon information content radiation: transmission and scattering; remote sensing; clouds and aerosols; Shannon information content
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Coddington, O.; Pilewskie, P.; Schmidt, K.S.; McBride, P.J.; Vukicevic, T. Characterizing a New Surface-Based Shortwave Cloud Retrieval Technique, Based on Transmitted Radiance for Soil and Vegetated Surface Types. Atmosphere 2013, 4, 48-71.

AMA Style

Coddington O, Pilewskie P, Schmidt KS, McBride PJ, Vukicevic T. Characterizing a New Surface-Based Shortwave Cloud Retrieval Technique, Based on Transmitted Radiance for Soil and Vegetated Surface Types. Atmosphere. 2013; 4(1):48-71.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Coddington, Odele; Pilewskie, Peter; Schmidt, K. S.; McBride, Patrick J.; Vukicevic, Tomislava. 2013. "Characterizing a New Surface-Based Shortwave Cloud Retrieval Technique, Based on Transmitted Radiance for Soil and Vegetated Surface Types." Atmosphere 4, no. 1: 48-71.


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