Combining satellite and ground-based remote sensing of mixed-phase cloud properties in the Arctic

Clouds can consist of either liquid droplets, ice crystals, or a mixture of both. The radiative impact of clouds strongly depends on their microphysical properties (e.g., cloud thermodynamic phase).

Image may contain: iceberg, polar ice cap, ice, arctic ocean, sea ice.

Microphysical properties can be retrieved from active remote sensing employing radar and lidar instruments. However, the understanding of the complex vertical structure of mixed-phase clouds, its development during the cloud’s life cycle and its associated feedback mechanisms remain a major source of uncertainty. Therefore, the aim of this project is to validate satellite remote sensing measurements and improve the vertical coverage of cloud thermodynamic phase profiles.

Within the project, the prospective candidate will combine satellite observations (CloudSat, CALIPSO) and ground-based observations (e.g., Barrow, Eureka, Summit, Ny-Ålesund) to (1) extend the vertical coverage of thermodynamic phase retrievals by probing the cloud from
base and cloud top, and (2) validate satellite retrievals when the cloud optical thickness  llows for an altitude overlap between the two different approaches. After limiting the analysis to feasible satellite overpasses, a statistical analysis investigating the vertical structure of mixedphase clouds at the different high-latitude sites will be conducted.

The prospective candidate should have basic programming skills (Matlab or Python is preferred) and an interest in remote sensing of the environment. The project will begin in Fall 2019. There is a possibility to participate in a field campaign in the Arctic in 2020.

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Published June 27, 2019 2:50 PM - Last modified June 27, 2019 2:50 PM

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