Earth  ID: 30387

Monthly Cloud Water Content (Terra/MODIS)

Have you ever wondered how much water is in clouds? These maps show monthly cloud water content from January 2005 to the present, produced using data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument onboard NASA’s Terra satellite. Cloud water content is a measure of how many grams of water per square meter you would get if you drained all the water out of the clouds into a flat layer on the ground. Light pink to white shades show areas of clouds with as much as 1000 grams of water per square meter; pink shades show areas with about 500 grams of water per square meter, and dark purple shows areas with little or no cloud water content. In short, the more water in a cloud, the more it reflects sunlight back to space and the more it cools Earth's surface. Cloud water content as well as cloud particle size are also important for global studies of precipitation.


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

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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.

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NASA Earth Observations

GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Clouds
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Clouds >> Cloud Liquid Water/Ice
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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