An accurate parameterization of the radiative properties of water clouds suitable for use in climate models

Y. X. Hu, K. Stamnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cloud optical properties for both solar and terrestrial spectra and for cloud equivalent radii in the range 2.5-60 μm are calculated from Mie theory. It is found that cloud optical properties depend mainly on equivalent radius throughout the solar and terrestrial spectrum and are insensitive to the details of the droplet size distribution, such as shape, skewness, width, and modality (single or biomodal). This suggests that in cloud models, aimed at predicting the evolution of cloud microphysics with climate change, it is sufficient to determine the third and the second moments of the size distribution (the ratio of which determines the equivalent radius). It also implies that measurements of the cloud liquid water content and the extinction coefficient are sufficient to determine cloud optical properties experimentally (i.e., measuring the complete droplet size distribution is not required). -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)728-742
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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