20 Nov 2023
 | 20 Nov 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

A Level 3 Monthly Gridded Ice Cloud Dataset Derived from a Decade of CALIOP Measurements

David Winker, Xia Cai, Mark Vaughan, Anne Garnier, Brian Magill, Melody Avery, and Brian Getzewich

Abstract. Clouds play important roles in weather, climate, and the global water cycle. The Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) onboard the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) spacecraft has measured global vertical profiles of clouds and aerosols in the Earth’s atmosphere since June 2006. CALIOP provides vertically resolved information on cloud occurrence, thermodynamic phase, and properties. We describe Version 1.0 of a monthly gridded ice cloud product derived from over ten years of global, near-continuous CALIOP measurements. The primary contents are monthly, vertically resolved histograms of ice cloud extinction coefficient and ice water content (IWC) retrievals. The CALIOP Level 3 Ice Cloud Product Version 1.0 is built from the CALIOP Version 4.20 Level 2 5-km Cloud Profile product, which, relative to previous versions, features substantial improvements due to more accurate lidar backscatter calibration, better extinction coefficient retrievals, and a temperature-sensitive parameterization of IWC. The gridded ice cloud data are reported as histograms, which provides data users with the flexibility to compare CALIOP’s retrieved ice cloud properties with those from other instruments with different measurement sensitivities or retrieval capabilities. It is also convenient to aggregate monthly histograms for seasonal, annual or decadal trend and climate analyses. This CALIOP gridded ice cloud product provides a unique characterization of the global and regional vertical distributions of optically thin ice clouds and deep convection cloud tops and should provide significant value for cloud research and model evaluation. A DOI has been issued for the product: (Winker et al., 2018).

David Winker et al.

Status: open (until 27 Dec 2023)

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David Winker et al.

Data sets

CALIPSO Level 3 Ice Cloud Product D. M. Winker, X. Cai, B. Magill, B. Getzewich, M. Vaughan, A. Garnier, and M. Avery

David Winker et al.


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Short summary
Clouds play important roles in both weather and climate. We describe Version 1.0 of a monthly globally gridded ice cloud data product containing vertically resolved statistics on the occurrence and properties of ice clouds, built from the curtains of lidar profile data from the CALIPSO satellite acquired over a 10-year period. This product should provide significant value for cloud research and the evaluation of clouds simulated in weather and climate models.