Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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AOSS researchers in AGU Spotlight

Posted: August 26, 2013

AOSS researchers in AGU Spotlight

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) newsletter, EOS, recently featured a spotlight on the work of Research Fellow Xiuhong Chen, Professor Xianglei Huang and NASA Langley Research Scientist Xu Liu.

The spotlight, entitled, “Atmosphere’s emission fingerprint affected by how clouds are stacked,” summarizes a paper recently published in the Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres by the group. The full title of the paper is “Non-negligible effects of cloud vertical overlapping assumptions on longwave spectral fingerprinting studies.” The paper shows that what matters when making spectral fingerprints is “not only the presence or absence of clouds at each location represented in the model but also how the clouds are stacked vertically within each model grid,” according to the spotlight.

“The authors tested three approaches to parameterize cloud stacking and found that the differences in stacking assumptions affected the modeled global mean for outgoing longwave radiation by only a few watts per square meter,” the article states. “However, based on which parameterization is used, similar changes in the portion of the sky covered by clouds can lead to spectral fingerprints that differ by up to a factor of 2 in amplitude.”

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