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Variability of clouds and water vapor in low latitudes: view from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Public Deposited

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  • This paper shows a small sampling of the atmospheric fields provided by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), which is installed on both the Terra and Aqua satellites of the Earth Observing System. These fields include macroscale fields like cloud fraction, cloud top pressure, cloud optical depth, and column water vapor, and microscale fields like cloud particle effective radius. Most of the atmospheric fields resemble, in spatial pattern and temporal evolution, the cloud top temperature field; several, however, including effective radius and clear-sky water vapor, have markedly different spatial patterns and temporal evolution, suggesting that large-scale controls on tropical water vapor are more complicated than a simple connection with large-scale convergence and convection would suggest. As with several previous studies, the cloud top temperature or pressure has a bimodal distribution with peaks in both the lower and upper troposphere. Our analysis also reveals a dependence of cloud effective particle size on sea surface temperature.
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  • Mote, P. W., & Frey, R. (2006). Variability of clouds and water vapor in low latitudes: view from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Journal of Geophysical Research, 111. doi:10.1029/2005JD006791
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  • NASA contract NNH04CC63C
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