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Observations of changes in marine boundary layer clouds

By C.R. Barber, R.P. Allan and M. Ringer


Recent research outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlights the response of marine boundary layer (MBL) clouds to warming associated with increasing greenhouse gases as a major contributor to uncertainties in model projections of climate change. Understanding how MBL clouds respond to increasing temperatures is hampered by the relative scarcity of marine surface observations and the difficulty of retrieving accurate parameters remotely from satellites. In this study we combine data from surface observations with that from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP), CloudSat and CALIPSO, with a view to investigating the spatial distribution and variations in MBL cloud fraction and cloud liquid water path (LWP). These results are then compared with the treatment of MBL clouds in the UK Met Office HadGEM models. Future work will assess how variations in LWP impact the top of atmosphere radiative energy balance using data from the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB), in order to quantify the response of MBL clouds on interannual timescales to a changing climat

Topics: 551
Publisher: EUMETSAT
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

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