Study of Ice Cloud Properties from Synergetic Use of Satellite Observations and Modeling Capabilities
The dissertation first investigates the single-scattering properties of inhomogeneous ice crystals containing air bubbles. Specifically, a combination of the ray-tracing technique and the Monte Carlo method is used to simulate the scattering of light by randomly oriented large hexagonal ice crystals containing spherical or spheroidal air bubbles. The effect of the air bubbles within ice crystals is to smooth the phase functions, diminish the 22? and 46? halo peaks, and reduce the backscatter in comparison with the case of bubble-free ice crystals. Cloud reflectance look-up tables were generated at the wavelengths of 0.65 ?m and 2.13 ?m to examine the impact of accounting for air bubbles in ice crystal morphology on the retrieval of ice cloud optical thickness and effective particle size.
To investigate the effect of the representation of aggregates on electromagnetic scattering calculations, an algorithm is developed to efficiently specify the geometries of aggregates and to compute some of their geometric parameters such as the projected area. Based on in situ observations, aggregates are defined as clusters of hexagonal plates with a chain-like overall shape. An aggregate model is developed with 10 ensemble members, each consisting of between 4-12 hexagonal plates. The scattering properties of an individual aggregate ice particle are computed using the discrete dipole approximation or an Improved Geometric Optics Method, depending upon the size parameter. The aggregate model provides an accurate and computationally efficient way to represent all aggregates occurring within ice clouds.
We developed an algorithm to determine an appropriate ice cloud model for application to satellite-based retrieval of ice cloud properties. Collocated Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer and Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) data are used to retrieve the optical thicknesses of ice clouds as a function of scattering angle in the nine MISR viewing directions. The difference between cloud optical thickness and its averaged value over the nine viewing angles can be used to validate the ice cloud models. Using the data obtained on 2 July 2009, an appropriate ice cloud model is determined. With the presence of all the uncertainties in the current operational satellite-based retrievals of ice cloud properties, this ice cloud model has excellent performance in terms of consistency in cloud property retrievals with the nine MISR viewing angles.