Using Space Lidar Observations to Decompose Longwave Cloud Radiative Effect Variations Over the Last Decade

Abstract : Measurements of the longwave cloud radiative effect (LWCRE) at the top of the atmosphere assess the contribution of clouds to the Earth warming but do not quantify the cloud property variations that are responsible for the LWCRE variations. The CALIPSO space lidar observes directly the detailed profile of cloud, cloud opacity, and cloud cover. Here we use these observations to quantify the influence of cloud properties on the variations of the LWCRE observed between 2008 and 2015 in the tropics and at global scale. At global scale, the method proposed here gives good results except over the Southern Ocean. We find that the global LWCRE variations observed over ocean are mostly due to variations in the opaque cloud properties (82%); transparent cloud columns contributed 18%. Variation of opaque cloud cover is the first contributor to the LWCRE evolution (58%); opaque cloud temperature is the second contributor (28%).
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 3:10:29 PM
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Thibault Vaillant de Guélis, Hélène Chepfer, Vincent Noel, Rodrigo Guzman, David Winker, et al.. Using Space Lidar Observations to Decompose Longwave Cloud Radiative Effect Variations Over the Last Decade. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2017, 44 (23), pp.11,994-12,003. ⟨10.1002/2017gl074628⟩. ⟨hal-01893557⟩

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