Characteristics of Various Types of Cloud Systems in Single Layers and the Associated Impacts of the Overlapping High Clouds
Received:September 05, 2018  
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KeyWord:Single-layer clouds  Two-layer clouds  Cloud characteristics  Cloud radiative forcing
Author NameAffiliationE-mail
LÜ Qiaoyi College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000
Laboratory of Straits Meteorology, Xiamen Meteorological Bureau, Xiamen 361012 
ZHANG Yuxuan Laboratory of Straits Meteorology, Xiamen Meteorological Bureau, Xiamen 361012  
LI Jiming College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 
JIAN Bida College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000  
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      In this study, we temporally and spatially obtain the cloud types from an active sensor product (2B-CLDCLASS-LIDAR) and the cloud properties and the associated radiation fluxes at the top of the atmosphere from a passive sensor product (CERES-SSF) (01/2007-12/2010). Further, we statistically and globally analyze the properties and instantaneous radiative forcings of various types of single- and two-layer clouds overlapping with high clouds located at the top of atmosphere. Although the aforementioned two products are independent, the passive sensor results denote reasonable contrasts between various types of single-layer clouds in terms of their optical depth, phases, and other parameters. The differences between the cloud properties of various types of single-layer clouds can significantly affect the radiation budget at the top of the atmosphere. By comparing the distributions of the CERES sample numbers with the short- and longwave radiative forcings of clouds, we denote that their high-value regions differ in terms of the shape, location, and area; further, we indicate the particular radiative characteristics of different single-layer cloud types. The dense area of the CERES-footprint sample number in case of the stratocumulus type cloud is shaped somewhat similar to an ellipsoid, whereas those of the remaining single-layer cloud types tend to resemble an exponential curve. Further consideration of the impacts of the overlapping high clouds reveals that that the overlying high clouds have more opaque and thicker cloud bodies when compared with those contained in single-layer high clouds, that the underlying cloud types tend to be more transparent and thinner when compared with their corresponding single-layer cloud types, and that the two-layer cloud types overlying high clouds, excluding high clouds that overlap cumulus, exhibit weaker cooling impacts on the Earth's atmosphere when compared with those exhibited by their underlying single-layer cloud types. The study results provide a detailed understanding of the cloud-radiation feedback and an observational basis for improving the cloud parameterization schemes in models.