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Climate Variability & Change, Water & Energy Cycles

We will use cloud and surface observations derived at NASA LaRC from operational geostationary-orbit (GEO) and Terra/Aqua MODIS satellites to validate specific output parameters from the NASA GMAO GEOS-5 to improve weather and climate analyses, and as operational input to the GEOS-5 Data Assimilation System to improve real-time forecasts. This proposal seeks to understand and improve predictive capability for changes in climate forcing, to enable predictive capability for weather, and to understand the role of the atmosphere in the climate system and improve predictive capability for its future evolution. We will refine and streamline an operating satellite data analysis system to provide cloud and surface property products in near-real time for assimilation into GEOS-5. GEO and polar MODIS imagery will be analyzed and the resulting products will provide global coverage at a 9-km resolution every 3 hours initially and, later, at 4-km and 1 hour. Existing GEO and MODIS skin temperatures, cloud fractions, optical depths, and ice and liquid water paths will be used to evaluate cloud condensate amounts and distributions and skin temperatures generated by GEOS-5. Uncertainties in the satellite products will be quantified to constrain the model comparisons and data assimilation. The near-real-time data will be available to the research community. Prototype techniques initially tested by GMAO will be refined to assimilate the LaRC cloud and surface properties into GEOS-5. They will be tested and evaluated using the LaRC data, conventional weather data, CERES broadband fluxes, and A-Train observations. The model clouds will be improved by assimilating cloud fraction, liquid water path, and optical depth. Boundary-layer energetics will be enhanced by assimilating skin temperature in clear regions. This research will yield an improved GEOS-5 modeling and assimilation system that will generate more accurate weather analyses and forecasts and enable more accurate characterizations of climate change.

Project PI: Patrick Minnis/NASA Langley Research Center

Atmospheric Sciences NASA Langley Research Center Mail Stop 420 Hampton, VA 23681 USA

Email: p.minnis@nasa.gov

http://www-pm.larc.nasa.gov/pages/minnis_home.html

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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Mar 18, 2011

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