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The "differential absorption technique" is used to derive columnar water vapor contents above clouds. Radiative transfer simulations were carried out for two different spectral channels, one channel within thewater water absorption band and one window channel. The simulations were performed for two different instruments, ENVISAT's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) and the Polarization and Directionality of the Earth Reflectances (POLDER) instrument on the ADEOS platform. Verticaldoi:10.1175/1520-0426(2001)018<0865:rsoawv>2.0.co;2 fatcat:6y75aqjwabeldmsd4yxllo6nyq