Principal Investigator (PI): Eric Fetzer, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

We will create a combined data record of clouds, water vapor and atmospheric temperature incorporating all water vapor measurements by A-Train sensors. Under a currently funded Making Earth System Data Records for Use in Research Environments (MEaSUREs) proposal we are combining Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS)/Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) water vapor and CloudSat cloud observations. However, these represent only about 1% of the total available water vapor observations in the A-Train swath, and CloudSat includes less than half the temporal coverage of AIRS and Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer—EOS (AMSR-E) (2006-2010 versus 2002-2012).

This new effort will incorporate cloud information from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), AIRS/AMSU, Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS), and AMSR-E in addition to CloudSat and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO). We will generalize cloud insights gained from our current experience with CloudSat to the other A-Train sensors, and build on other cloud analysis capability being developed with funding by the NASA Satellite Calibration Interconsistency Study (SCIS) program. The new record will include every water vapor and temperature observation from AIRS/AMSU, MLS and AMSR-E over the 10 year A-Train lifetime.

Our objective is to fully characterize cloud information obtained by A-Train instruments, and relate those cloud characteristics to observed water vapor. Our approach will use MODIS and AIRS/AMSU cloud information to characterize the cloud state for all A-Train water vapor observations. We will generalize our current experience for those water vapor observations along the CloudSat/CALIPSO track. The novelty of the proposed work is the incorporation of all A-Train water vapor scenes. This will include roughly two orders of magnitude more observations from several sensors, and extend over the entire A-Train record of about a decade.

We will also examine the cloud state of water vapor observations taken by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and MetOp-A AMSU-B instruments when they are collocated and contemporaneous with the A-Train. The methodologies developed will be applicable to sounder/imager combinations on other spacecraft.

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