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Cloud CCI project overview

The ultimate objective is to provide long-term coherent cloud property data sets exploiting the synergic capabilities of different Earth observation missions allowing for improved accuracies and  enhanced temporal and spatial sampling better than those provided by the single sources.

This project seeks to utilize the increasing potential of the synergic capabilities of past, existing and upcoming European and US missions in order to meet the increasing needs for coherent long-term cloud property datasets required by the scientific community. The primary objectives of the ESA CCI Clouds project are:

  • Development of intercalibrated radiance data sets - so called Fundamental Climate Data Records for ESA and non ESA instruments in an international collaboration, firstly by taking full benefit of WMO Global Space-based Inter-Calibration System (GSICS) results as a main user and, secondly, by adding complementary methodologies where necessary enhancing GSICS capabilities.
  • Development of a coherent physical retrieval framework for the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) cloud property Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) cloud cover, cloud top height and temperature, liquid and ice water path that can be
    considered as an open community retrieval framework that will be publicly available and usable by all scientists.
  • Development of two multi-annual global data sets for the GCOS cloud property ECVs including uncertainty estimates based on carefully calibrated and intercalibrated radiances.
  • Validation of the cloud property products against ground based and other satellite based measurements taking into account the individual error structures of the individual observations as far as possible.
  • Providing a common data base and the necessary assessment of cloud data sets
    as in the framework of Global Energy and
    Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX).
  • Development of a complete processing system distributed over Europe that can further strengthen operational production of cloud property data sets after the ESA CCI program is finished.
  • Promoting the strategy of data set construction and the data sets to the global scientific and operational
    community. This includes a lively interaction with the Climate Modelling User Group (CCI CMUG) consortium.