Cloud property datasets retrieved from AVHRR, MODIS, AATSR and MERIS in the framework of the Cloud_cci project - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Earth System Science Data Year : 2017

Cloud property datasets retrieved from AVHRR, MODIS, AATSR and MERIS in the framework of the Cloud_cci project

Martin Stengel
  • Function : Author
Stefan Stapelberg
  • Function : Author
Oliver Sus
  • Function : Author
Cornelia Schlundt
  • Function : Author
Caroline Poulsen
  • Function : Author
Gareth Thomas
  • Function : Author
Matthew Christensen
  • Function : Author
Cintia Carbajal Henken
  • Function : Author
Rene Preusker
  • Function : Author
Jürgen Fischer
  • Function : Author
Abhay Devasthale
  • Function : Author
Ulrika Willén
  • Function : Author
Karl-Göran Karlsson
  • Function : Author
Gregory R. Mcgarragh
  • Function : Author
Simon Proud
  • Function : Author
Adam C. Povey
  • Function : Author
Roy G. Grainger
  • Function : Author
Jan Fokke Meirink
  • Function : Author
Ralf Bennartz
  • Function : Author
Jedrzej S. Bojanowski
  • Function : Author
Rainer Hollmann
  • Function : Author


New cloud property datasets based on measurements from the passive imaging satellite sensors AVHRR, MODIS, ATSR2, AATSR and MERIS are presented. Two retrieval systems were developed that include components for cloud detection and cloud typing followed by cloud property retrievals based on the optimal estimation (OE) technique. The OE-based retrievals are applied to simultaneously retrieve cloud-top pressure, cloud particle effective radius and cloud optical thickness using measurements at visible, near-infrared and thermal infrared wavelengths, which ensures spectral consistency. The retrieved cloud properties are further processed to derive cloud-top height, cloud-top temperature, cloud liquid water path, cloud ice water path and spectral cloud albedo. The Cloud_cci products are pixel-based retrievals, daily composites of those on a global equal-angle latitude-longitude grid, and monthly cloud properties such as averages, standard deviations and histograms, also on a global grid. All products include rigorous propagation of the retrieval and sampling uncertainties. Grouping the orbital properties of the sensor families, six datasets have been defined, which are named AVHRR-AM, AVHRR-PM, MODIS-Terra, MODIS-Aqua, ATSR2-AATSR and MERIS+AATSR, each comprising a specific subset of all available sensors. The individual characteristics of the datasets are presented together with a summary of the retrieval systems and measurement records on which the dataset generation were based. Example validation results are given, based on comparisons to well-established reference observations, which demonstrate the good quality of the data. In particular the ensured spectral consistency and the rigorous uncertainty propagation through all processing levels can be considered as new features of the Cloud_cci datasets compared to existing datasets. In addition, the consistency among the individual datasets allows for a potential combination of them as well as facilitates studies on the impact of temporal sampling and spatial resolution on cloud climatologies.

For each dataset a digital object identifier has been issued:

Cloud_cci AVHRR-AM:

Cloud_cci AVHRR-PM:

Cloud_cci MODIS-Terra:

Cloud_cci MODIS-Aqua:

Cloud_cci ATSR2-AATSR:

Cloud_cci MERIS+AATSR:

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Dates and versions

insu-03727047 , version 1 (27-07-2022)





Martin Stengel, Stefan Stapelberg, Oliver Sus, Cornelia Schlundt, Caroline Poulsen, et al.. Cloud property datasets retrieved from AVHRR, MODIS, AATSR and MERIS in the framework of the Cloud_cci project. Earth System Science Data, 2017, 9, pp.881-904. ⟨10.5194/essd-9-881-2017⟩. ⟨insu-03727047⟩
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