Observed Southern Ocean Cloud Properties and Shortwave Reflection. Part I: Calculation of SW Flux from Observed Cloud Properties*

Daniel T. McCoy, Dennis L. Hartmann, Daniel P. Grosvenor
2014 Journal of Climate  
The sensitivity of the reflection of shortwave radiation over the Southern Ocean to the cloud properties there is estimated using observations from a suite of passive and active satellite instruments in combination with radiative transfer modeling. A composite cloud property observational data description is constructed that consistently incorporates mean cloud liquid water content, ice water content, liquid and ice particle radius information, vertical structure, vertical overlap, and spatial
more » ... erlap, and spatial aggregation of cloud water as measured by optical depth versus cloud-top pressure histograms. The observational datasets used are Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) effective radius filtered to mitigate solar zenith angle bias, the Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) cloud-top height-optical depth (CTH-OD) histogram, the liquid water path from the University of Wisconsin dataset, and ice cloud properties from CloudSat. This cloud database is used to compute reflected shortwave radiation as a function of month and location over the ocean from 408 to 608S, which compares well with observations of reflected shortwave radiation. This calculation is then used to test the sensitivity of the seasonal variation of shortwave reflection to the observed seasonal variation of cloud properties. Effective radius decreases during the summer season, which results in an increase in reflected solar radiation of 4-8 W m 22 during summer compared to what would be reflected if the effective radius remained constant at its annual-mean value. Summertime increases in low cloud fraction similarly increase the summertime reflection of solar radiation by 9-11 W m 22 . In-cloud liquid water path is less in summertime, causing the reflected solar radiation to be 1-4 W m 22 less.
doi:10.1175/jcli-d-14-00287.1 fatcat:ampnluzexzcjljkrjd5vmr326e