Microphysical structure of clouds in different ecosystems of South America

Bruno Muniz Duarte, José Ricardo de Almeida França

Abstract


Clouds directly affect meteorological conditions of the planet, by interacting with electromagnetic radiation from the sun, the earth's surface and the atmosphere. Each cloud type interacts in a particular way, being extremely important that the total set of clouds at any location is well represented in atmospheric models, in order to generate more accurate results. The purpose of this paper is to initiate a characterization of cloud types as a function of their microphysical properties and evaluate the dependence on ecosystem and synoptic condition. The data were obtained through remote sensing, using the MODIS sensor and the variables: cloud particle effective radius, optical thickness, pressure and temperature of the cloud top. Several forms of distributions were found for six different ecosystems for the four seasons. It was noted that narrow and concentrated effective radius spectra are linked to deep convection clouds, while broader distributions can be usually associated to cold frontal systems. The amount of events analyzed was not enough to show clear patterns, although the results can lead to other directions in a future and more focused work.



DOI: https://doi.org/10.11137/2009_2_33-41

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