Technical note: Retrieval of the supercooled liquid fraction in mixed-phase clouds from Himawari-8 observations
Abstract. The supercooled liquid fraction (SLF) in mixed-phase clouds (MPCs) is an essential variable of cloud microphysical processes and climate sensitivity. However, SLF is currently calculated in spaceborne remote sensing only as the cloud phase frequency ratio of adjacent pixels, which results in a loss of the original resolution in observations of cloud liquid or ice content within MPCs. Here, we present a novel method for retrieving the SLF in MPCs based on the differences in radiative properties of supercooled liquid droplets and ice particles at visible and shortwave‐infrared channels of the geostationary Himawari-8. Liquid and ice water paths are inferred by assuming that clouds are composed of only liquid or ice, with the real cloud water path (CWP) expressed as a combination of these two water paths (SLF and 1-SLF as coefficients), and SLF is determined by referring to the CWP from CALIPSO. The statistical relatively small cloud phase spatial inhomogeneity in Himawari-8-pixel level indicates an optimal scene for the cloud retrieval. The SLF results are comparable to global SLF distributions observed by active instruments, particularly for single-layered cloud systems. While accessing the method’s feasibility, SLF averages are estimated between 74 % and 78 % in Southern Ocean stratocumulus across seasons, contrasting with a range of 29 % to 32 % in Northeast Asia. The former exhibits a minimum SLF around midday in summer and a maximum in winter, while the latter trend differs. This novel algorithm will be valuable for research to track the evolution of MPCs and constrain the related climate impact.
Status: open (until 25 Mar 2024)
Viewed (geographical distribution)