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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: data description paper 11 Dec 2019

Submitted as: data description paper | 11 Dec 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

Cloud_cci ATSR-2 and AATSR dataset version 3: a 17-yearclimatology of global cloud and radiation properties

Caroline A. Poulsen1, Gregory R. Mcgarragh2,a, Gareth E. Thomas3,6, Martin Stengel4, Matthew W. Christiensen5, Adam C. Povey7, Simon R. Proud5,6, Elisa Carboni3,6, Rainer Hollmann4, and Roy G. Grainger7 Caroline A. Poulsen et al.
  • 1Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • 2Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Clarendon Laboratory, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PU, UK
  • 3Science Technology Facility Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK
  • 4Deutscher Wetterdienst, Frankfurter Str. 135, 63067, Offenbach, Germany
  • 5Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Clarendon Laboratory, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PU, UK
  • 6National Centre for Earth Observation, Reading RG6 6BB, UK
  • 7National Centre for Earth Observation, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PU, UK
  • anow at: Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University, USA

Abstract. We present version 3 (V3) of the Cloud_cci ATSR-2/AATSR dataset. The dataset was created for the European Space Agency (ESA) Cloud_cci (Climate Change Initiative) program. The cloud properties were retrieved from the second Along- Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR-2) on board the second European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS-2) spanning 1995–2003 and the Advanced ATSR (AATSR) on board Envisat, which spanned 2002–2012. The data comprises a comprehensive set of cloud properties: cloud top height, temperature, pressure, spectral albedo, cloud effective emissivity, effective radius and optical thickness alongside derived liquid and ice water path. Each retrieval is provided with its associated uncertainty. The cloud property retrievals are accompanied by high-resolution top and bottom-of-atmosphere short- and long-wave fluxes that have been derived from the retrieved cloud properties using a radiative transfer model. The fluxes were generated for all-sky and clear-sky conditions. V3 differs from the previous version 2 (V2) through development of the retrieval algorithm and attention to the consistency between the ATSR-2 and AATSR instruments. The cloud properties show improved accuracy in validation and better consistency between the two instruments, as demonstrated by a comparison of cloud mask and cloud height with collocated CALIPSO data. The cloud masking has improved significantly, particularly the ability to detect clear pixels The Kuiper Skill score has increased from .49 to .66. The cloud top height accuracy is relatively unchanged. The AATSR liquid water path was compared with the Multisensor Advanced Climatology of Liquid Water Path (MAC-LWP) in regions of stratocumulous cloud and shown to have very good agreement and improved consistency between ATSR-2 and AATSR instruments, the Correlation with MAC-LWP increase from .4 to over .8 for these cloud regions. The flux products are compared with NASA Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) data, showing good agreement within the uncertainty. The new dataset is well suited to a wide range of climate applications, such as comparison with climate models, investigation of trends in cloud properties, understanding aerosol-cloud interactions, and providing contextual information for collocated ATSR-2/AATSR surface temperature and aerosol products. For the Cloud_cci ATSR-2/AATSRv3 dataset a new digital identifier has been issued: Poulsen et al. (2019).

Caroline A. Poulsen et al.
Interactive discussion
Status: open (until 05 Feb 2020)
Status: open (until 05 Feb 2020)
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Caroline A. Poulsen et al.
Data sets

ESA Cloud_cci cloud property datasets retrieved from passive satellite sensors: ATSR2-AATSR L3C/L3U cloud products - Version 3.0 Poulsen, C., McGarragh, G., Thomas, G., Stengel, M., Christensen, M., Povey, A., Proud, S., Carboni, E., Hollmann, R., Grainger

Caroline A. Poulsen et al.
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Short summary
We have created a satellite cloud climatology from the ATSR-2 and AATSR on board ERS-2 and Envisat respectively which spans the period 1995–2012. The data set was created using a combination of optimal estimation and neural net techniques. the data set was created as part of the ESA Climate Change Initiative program. The data set has been validated by comparing with active CALIOP lidar measurements and compared with MAC-LWP measurements and shown to have good performance.
We have created a satellite cloud climatology from the ATSR-2 and AATSR on board ERS-2 and...