Cloud Particle Radius (1 month - Aqua/MODIS)

Cloud Particle Radius (1 month - Aqua/MODIS) | NASA

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About this dataset

More than just the idle stuff of daydreams, clouds help control the flow of light and heat around our world. Because there are so many clouds spread over such large areas of Earth, they are a very important part of our world's climate system. Clouds have the ability to cool our planet, or they can help to warm it. Because there are so many different kinds of clouds, and because they move and change so fast, they are hard to understand and even harder to predict. Scientists want to know how big the particles are that make up clouds. Clouds with smaller particles tend to reflect more sunlight and, therefore, cool the Earth. If that sounds like a good way to combat global warming, consider this: when cloud particles are small, they are less likely to collide with one another often enough to produce raindrops. So clouds with smaller particles can contribute to drought. By measuring how much non-visible light (called shortwave infrared) is absorbed by a cloud, scientists can determine how large its particles are.

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October 2014

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Related Websites

MODIS Atmospheres Science Team

MODIS

Aqua

ATBD (Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document)

Cloud Retrieval Algorithms for MODIS: Optical Thickness, Effective Particle Radius, and Thermodynamic Phase

Credits

Imagery by Reto Stockli, NASA's Earth Observatory, using data provided by the MODIS Atmosphere Science Team, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Federal Geographic Data Committee Geospatial Metadata

View the FGDC Metatdata for Cloud Particle Radius (1 month - Aqua/MODIS)

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