ARM Scientist Creates First 3D Cloud Map For Use In Climate Prediction


For the first time, three-dimensional maps of cirrus clouds have been created using remote sensing data from a radar that senses clouds. K.N. Liou from the University of California, Los Angeles, a scientist funded by the Office of Science’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program, developed a method for utilizing the cloud radar data to create the maps. The ability to create such maps from remotely sensed data is significant because cirrus clouds cover approximately 30 percent of the Earth and contain ice crystals that can both reflect sunlight and retain surface energy. Hence, mapping the three-dimensional structure of these clouds can make a significant impact on climate and weather prediction.