UARS/MLS cloud ice measurements: Implications for H2O transport near the tropopause Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract A technique for detecting large hydrometeors at high altitudes is described here and applied to the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite/Microwave Limb Sounder (UARS/MLS) 203-GHz radiance measurements at tangent pressures between 200 and 46 hPa. At these tangent pressures the radiances remain optically thin and cloudy-sky radiances are brighter than normal clear-sky cases. Unlike infrared/visible cloud observations, the 203-GHz radiances can penetrate most ice clouds and are sensitive to ice crystals of convective origin. Rough ice water content (IWC) retrievals are made near the tropopause using estimated size distributions from in situ convective studies. The seasonal mean IWC observed at 100 hPa reaches vapor-equivalent 20 ppmv or more over convective centers, dominating the total water content. Convectively lofted ice, therefore, appears to be hydrologically significant at the tropical cold point. IWC is well correlated spatially with relative humidity with respect to ice (RHi) at 100 hPa during both the dry (JanuaryMarch) and moist (JulySeptember) periods.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Wu, D. L., Read, W. G., Dessler, A. E., Sherwood, S. C., & Jiang, J. H.

citation count

  • 44

complete list of authors

  • Wu, DL||Read, WG||Dessler, AE||Sherwood, SC||Jiang, JH

publication date

  • February 2005