Articles | Volume 10, issue 4
14 Dec 2018
 | 14 Dec 2018

Using CALIOP to estimate cloud-field base height and its uncertainty: the Cloud Base Altitude Spatial Extrapolator (CBASE) algorithm and dataset

Johannes Mülmenstädt, Odran Sourdeval, David S. Henderson, Tristan S. L'Ecuyer, Claudia Unglaub, Leonore Jungandreas, Christoph Böhm, Lynn M. Russell, and Johannes Quaas

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Cited articles

An, N., Wang, K., Zhou, C., and Pinker, R. T.: Observed Variability of Cloud Frequency and Cloud-Base Height within 3600 m above the Surface over the Contiguous United States, J. Climate, 30, 3725–3742,, 2017. a
Benjamin, S. G., Weygandt, S. S., Brown, J. M., Hu, M., Alexander, C. R., Smirnova, T. G., Olson, J. B., James, E. P., Dowell, D. C., Grell, G. A., Lin, H., Peckham, S. E., Smith, T. L., Moninger, W. R., Kenyon, J. S., and Manikin, G. S.: A North American Hourly Assimilation and Model Forecast Cycle: The Rapid Refresh, Mon. Weather Rev., 144, 1669–1694,, 2016. a
Böhm, C., Sourdeval, O., Mülmenstädt, J., Quaas, J., and Crewell, S.: Cloud base height retrieval from multi-angle satellite data, Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,, in review, 2018. a
CALIPSO Science Team: CALIPSO/CALIOP Level 2, Vertical Feature Mask Data, version 4.10,, 2016. a
Cao, C., De Luccia, F. J., Xiong, X., Wolfe, R., and Weng, F.: Early On-Orbit Performance of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite Onboard the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) Satellite, IEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 52, 1142–1156,, 2014. a
Short summary
One of the key pieces of information about a cloud is how high its base is. Unlike cloud top, cloud base is hard to observe from a satellite perspective – the cloud blocks the view. But without using satellites, it is difficult to compile global datasets. Here we describe how we worked around the limitations of a cloud-detecting laser satellite to observe global cloud base heights. This dataset will expand our knowledge of the cloudy atmosphere and its interaction with the planetary surface.
Final-revised paper