An EarthCARE/ATLID simulator to evaluate cloud description in climate models

M Reverdy, H Chepfer, DP Donovan, V Noel, G Cesana, C Hoareau, M Chiriaco, S Bastin

Clouds still remain the largest source of uncertainty in model-based predictions of future climate; thus, the description of the clouds in climate models needs to be evaluated. In particular, the cloud detailed vertical distribution that impacts directly the cloud radiative effect needs to be evaluated. Active satellite sensors directly measure the cloud vertical distribution with high accuracy; their observations should be used for model evaluation together with a satellite simulator in order to allow fair comparison between models and observations. The next cloud lidar in space, EarthCARE/ATmospheric LIDar (ATLID), is planned for launch in 2018, while the current spaceborne cloud lidar CALIPSO/CALIOP is expected to stop collecting data within the next coming years. Here we describe the characteristics of the ATLID on board the EarthCARE satellite (spatial resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, wavelength, field of view, pulse repetition frequency, orbit, and high-spectral resolution lidar) that need to be taken into account to build a Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project Observation Simulator Package (COSP)/ATLID simulator. We then present the COSP/ATLID simulator, and the low-, middle-, high-level cloud covers it produces, as well as the zonal mean cloud fraction profiles and the height-intensity histograms that are simulated by COSP/ATLID when overflying an atmosphere predicted by LMDZ5 global circulation model. Finally, we compare the clouds simulated by COSP/ATLID with those simulated by COSP/CALIPSO when overflying the same atmosphere. As the main differences between ATLID and CALIOP are taken into account in the simulators, the differences between COSP/ATLID and COSP/CALIPSO cloud covers are less than 1% in nighttime conditions

Bibliografische gegevens

M Reverdy, H Chepfer, DP Donovan, V Noel, G Cesana, C Hoareau, M Chiriaco, S Bastin. An EarthCARE/ATLID simulator to evaluate cloud description in climate models
published, J. Geophys. Res., 2015