Upper tropospheric water vapor and clouds play an important role in Earth's climate, but knowledge of them, in particular diurnal variation in deep convective clouds, is limited. An essential variable to understand them is cloud ice water content. The Japanese Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES) on board the International Space Station (ISS) samples the atmosphere at different local times allowing the study of diurnal variability of atmospheric parameters. We describe a new ice cloud data set consisting of partial Ice Water Path and Ice Water Content. Preliminary comparisons with EOS-MLS, CloudSat-CPR and CALIOP-CALIPSO are presented. Then, the diurnal variation over land and over open ocean for partial ice water path is reported. Over land, a pronounced diurnal variation peaking strongly in the afternoon/early evening was found. Over the open ocean, little temporal dependence was encountered. This data set is publicly available for download in HDF5 format.
Research Containing: ice cloud
Evaluating the Diurnal Cycle of Upper-Tropospheric Ice Clouds in Climate Models Using SMILES Observations
Upper-tropospheric ice cloud measurements from the Superconducting Submillimeter Limb Emission Sounder (SMILES) on the International Space Station (ISS) are used to study the diurnal cycle of upper-tropospheric ice cloud in the tropics and midlatitudes (40°S?40°N) and to quantitatively evaluate ice cloud diurnal variability simulated by 10 climate models. Over land, the SMILES-observed diurnal cycle has a maximum around 1800 local solar time (LST), while the model-simulated diurnal cycles have phases differing from the observed cycle by ?4 to 12 h. Over ocean, the observations show much smaller diurnal cycle amplitudes than over land with a peak at 1200 LST, while the modeled diurnal cycle phases are widely distributed throughout the 24-h period. Most models show smaller diurnal cycle amplitudes over ocean than over land, which is in agreement with the observations. However, there is a large spread of modeled diurnal cycle amplitudes ranging from 20% to more than 300% of the observed over both land and ocean. Empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis on the observed and model-simulated variations of ice clouds finds that the first EOF modes over land from both observation and model simulations explain more than 70% of the ice cloud diurnal variations and they have similar spatial and temporal patterns. Over ocean, the first EOF from observation explains 26.4% of the variance, while the first EOF from most models explains more than 70%. The modeled spatial and temporal patterns of the leading EOFs over ocean show large differences from observations, indicating that the physical mechanisms governing the diurnal cycle of oceanic ice clouds are more complicated and not well simulated by the current climate models.
Overview and sample applications of SMILES and Odin-SMR retrievals of upper tropospheric humidity and cloud ice mass
Retrievals of cloud ice mass and humidity from the Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder (SMILES) and the Odin-SMR (Sub-Millimetre Radiometer) limb sounder are presented and example applications of the data are given. SMILES data give an unprecedented view of the diurnal variation of cloud ice mass. Mean regional diurnal cycles are reported and compared to some global climate models. Some improvements in the models regarding diurnal timing and relative amplitude were noted, but the models' mean ice mass around 250 hPa is still low compared to the observations. The influence of the ENSO (El Niño–Southern Oscillation) state on the upper troposphere is demonstrated using 12 years of Odin-SMR data. The same retrieval scheme is applied for both sensors, and gives low systematic differences between the two data sets. A special feature of this Bayesian retrieval scheme, of Monte Carlo integration type, is that values are produced for all measurements but for some atmospheric states retrieved values only reflect a priori assumptions. However, this "all-weather" capability allows a direct statistical comparison to model data, in contrast to many other satellite data sets. Another strength of the retrievals is the detailed treatment of "beam filling" that otherwise would cause large systematic biases for these passive cloud ice mass retrievals. The main retrieval inputs are spectra around 635/525 GHz from tangent altitudes below 8/9 km for SMILES/Odin-SMR, respectively. For both sensors, the data cover the upper troposphere between 30° S and 30° N. Humidity is reported as both relative humidity and volume mixing ratio. The vertical coverage of SMILES is restricted to a single layer, while Odin-SMR gives some profiling capability between 300 and 150 hPa. Ice mass is given as the partial ice water path above 260 hPa, but for Odin-SMR ice water content, estimates are also provided. Besides a smaller contrast between most dry and wet cases, the agreement with Aura MLS (Microwave Limb Sounder) humidity data is good. In terms of tropical mean humidity, all three data sets agree within 3.5 %RHi. Mean ice mass is about a factor of 2 lower compared to CloudSat. This deviation is caused by the fact that different particle size distributions are assumed, combined with saturation and a priori influences in the SMILES and Odin-SMR data.