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Eldering, A, Kulawik, SS, Worden, J, Bowman, K, Osterman, G (2008). Implementation of cloud retrievals for TES atmospheric retrievals: 2. Characterization of cloud top pressure and effective optical depth retrievals. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-ATMOSPHERES, 113(D16), D16S37.

We characterize and validate the cloud products from the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) by comparing TES estimates of effective cloud optical depth and cloud top height to those from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (on EOS) (MODIS), the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), and to simulated data. TES measures in the infrared spectral region (650-2260 cm(-1)), where clouds have a ubiquitous impact on measured radiances and therefore on trace gas profile retrievals. The radiance contribution of clouds is parameterized in TES retrievals in terms of a set of frequency-dependent nonscattering effective optical depths and a cloud height. This unique approach jointly retrieves cloud parameters with surface temperature, emissivity, atmospheric temperature, and trace gases such as ozone from TES spectral radiances. We calculate the relationship between the true optical depth and the TES effective optical depth for a range of single-scatter albedo and phase functions to show how this varies with cloud type. We estimate the errors on retrieved cloud parameters using a simulated data set covering a wide range of cloud cases. For simulations with no noise on the radiances, cloud height errors are less than 30 hPa, and effective optical depth follows expected behavior for input optical depths of less than 3. When random noise is included on the radiances, and atmospheric variables are included in the retrieval, cloud height errors are approximately 200 hPa, and the estimated effective optical depth has sensitivity between optical depths of 0.3 and 10. The estimated errors from simulation are consistent with differences between TES and cloud top heights and optical depth from MODIS and AIRS.



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