Instantaneous cloud overlap statistics in the tropical area revealed by ICESat/GLAS data Academic Article uri icon


  • This study uses ICESat/GLAS instantaneous observations from 29 September to 18 November 2003 to investigate cloud overlap statistics between 10S-20N. The results show that 75.1% of profiles detect clouds: 46.5% are single layer and 28.6% multilayer clouds (cloud layers are separated by 0.5km). Using a definition of cloud type based on cloud heights and laser attenuation information, cloud overlap statistics are derived by analyzing 96.4% of the cloudy profiles. The most frequent overlap occurs between cirrus clouds and boundary layer clouds, which accounts for 31.88% of boundary clouds. 23.8% of deep convection has overlying cirrus clouds. We find that differences exist between the cloud overlap fraction from the GLAS observations and one calculated from the random overlap assumption commonly used by climate models. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, L., & Dessler, A. E.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Likun||Dessler, Andrew E

publication date

  • August 2006