Potential of Hyperspectral Thermal Infrared Spaceborne Measurements to Retrieve Ice Cloud Physical Properties: Case Study of IASI and IASI-NG

Leonarski, Lucie ; C. -Labonnote, Laurent ; Compiègne, Mathieu ; Vidot, Jérôme ; Baran, Anthony J. ; Dubuisson, Philippe

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<p align=justify>The present study aims to quantify the potential of hyperspectral thermal infrared sounders such as the Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) and the future IASI next generation (IASI-NG) for retrieving the ice cloud layer altitude and thickness together with the ice water path. We employed the radiative transfer model Radiative Transfer for TOVS (RTTOV) to simulate cloudy radiances using parameterized ice cloud optical properties. The radiances have been computed from an ice cloud profile database coming from global operational short-range forecasts at the European Center for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) which encloses the normal conditions, typical variability, and extremes of the atmospheric properties over one year (Eresmaa and McNally (2014)). We performed an information content analysis based on Shannon's formalism to determine the amount and spectral distribution of the information about ice cloud properties. Based on this analysis, a retrieval algorithm has been developed and tested on the profile database. We considered the signal-to-noise ratio of each specific instrument and the non-retrieved atmospheric and surface parameter errors. This study brings evidence that the observing system provides information on the ice water path (IWP) as well as on the layer altitude and thickness with a convergence rate up to 95% and expected errors that decrease with cloud opacity until the signal saturation is reached (satisfying retrievals are achieved for clouds whose IWP is between about 1 and 300 g/m2).</p>
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