Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-21-2016

Publication Title

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

ISSN

1680-7316

Volume

16

Issue

12

First Page

7545

Last Page

7558

DOI

https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-7545-2016

Abstract

The degree of surface roughness of ice particles within thick, cold ice clouds is inferred from multi-directional, multi-spectral satellite polarimetric observations over oceans, assuming a column-aggregate particle habit. An improved roughness inference scheme is employed that provides a more noise-resilient roughness estimate than the conventional best-fit approach. The improvements include the introduction of a quantitative roughness parameter based on empirical orthogonal function analysis and proper treatment of polarization due to atmospheric scattering above clouds. A global 1-month data sample supports the use of a severely roughened ice habit to simulate the polarized reflectivity associated with ice clouds over ocean. The density distribution of the roughness parameter inferred from the global 1-month data sample and further analyses of a few case studies demonstrate the significant variability of ice cloud single-scattering properties. However, the present theoretical results do not agree with observations in the tropics. In the extratropics, the roughness parameter is inferred but 74 % of the sample is out of the expected parameter range. Potential improvements are discussed to enhance the depiction of the natural variability on a global scale.

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