Earth  ID: 30386

Monthly Cloud Particle Radius (Terra/MODIS)

To better understand the role of clouds in the Earth's climate system, scientists need two important measurements: cloud optical thickness and cloud particle size. The size of cloud particles is important. In general, smaller particles produce brighter, more reflective clouds, which bounce more sunlight back into space and cool the planet. By carefully quantifying how much shortwave infrared sunlight clouds absorb, scientists can determine the size of the individual particles within clouds. Clouds with larger particles absorb more shortwave infrared light and, conversely, clouds with smaller particles absorb less shortwave infrared light. These maps show monthly cloud particle radius from January 2005 to the present, produced using data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument onboard NASA’s Terra satellite. White shades show where there are smaller cloud particles (between 4 and 11 micrometers in radius), while purple shades show where there are larger cloud particles (between 33 and 40 micrometers).

For More Information

http://neo.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/Search.html?datasetId=MODAL2_M_CLD_RD


Credits

Marit Jentoft-Nilsen: Visualizer
Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC): Visualizer
Based on imagery by Reto Stockli, NASA's Earth Observatory, using data provided by the MODIS Atmosphere Science Team, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Short URL to share this page:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/30386

Mission:
Terra

Data Used:
Terra/MODIS
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:
NASA Earth Observations

Keywords:
SVS >> HDTV
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Clouds
SVS >> Hyperwall
NASA Science >> Earth
SVS >> Presentation
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Clouds >> Cloud Properties

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 8.0.0.0.0