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Observing cirrus formation and decay with METEOSAT

Mannstein, Hermann and Graf, Kaspar and Kox, Stephan and Mayer, Bernhard and Schumann, Ulrich (2009) Observing cirrus formation and decay with METEOSAT. In: 2009 EUMETSAT Meteorological Satellite Conference . EUMETSAT. 2009 EUMETSAT METEOROLOGICAL SATELLITE CONFERENCE, 21 - 25 Sep. 2009, Bath, UK.

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Cirrus clouds have a substantial impact on net radiation and therefore also on climate, but the physical processes involved in cirrus formation and decay are not very well represented in climate and weather prediction models. In-situ formation of natural cirrus clouds is initiated when cooling moist air parcels reach a substantial super-saturation with respect to ice. This happens either due to dynamic lifting of the air or due to radiative cooling. But once ice crystals are formed, they grow until the ambient air becomes sub-saturated either by subsidence of the whole air-mass or sedimentation of the particles into drier air. Thus the pure diagnostic description of clouds, as it is used in current climate and weather prediction models has to be tuned to match observations at least until a prognostic description of cirrus clouds will be introduced into these models. The decay of cirrus clouds is a process with a typical timescale of hours. Therefore geostationary satellites with their high temporal resolution are an ideal platform for cirrus observations. The data from these satellites offer the possibility to observe the life cycle either by tracking cirrus clouds or by observation of the typical daily and seasonal variation of cirrus coverage. In particular the infrared channels of the METEOSAT satellites, which are independent from day-light and not affected by the different scattering properties of the various ice particle habits are suitable for such observations. In this article we analyse the daily variation of cirrus coverage in the Southern Atlantic and Indian Ocean region, as this wide area is not affected by deep convection, which dominates the daily variation of cirrus coverage over land.

Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Observing cirrus formation and decay with METEOSAT
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Mannstein, HermannUNSPECIFIED
Mayer, BernhardTU München, München
Schumann, UlrichUNSPECIFIED
Date:November 2009
Journal or Publication Title:2009 EUMETSAT Meteorological Satellite Conference
Refereed publication:Yes
In Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:cirrus, clouds, daily variation, satellite
Event Location:Bath, UK
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:21 - 25 Sep. 2009
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben Atmosphären- und Klimaforschung (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Atmospheric Remote Sensing
Deposited By: Dr.rer.nat. Hermann Mannstein
Deposited On:03 Dec 2009 17:30
Last Modified:24 Sep 2012 12:25

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