The Community Cloud retrieval for CLimate (CC4CL)-Part 1: A framework applied to multiple satellite imaging sensors

Oliver Sus, Martin Stengel, Stefan Stapelberg, Gregory Mcgarragh, Caroline Poulsen, Adam C. Povey, Cornelia Schlundt, Gareth Thomas, Matthew Christensen, Simon Proud, Matthias Jerg, Roy Grainger, Rainer Hollmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We present here the key features of the Community Cloud retrieval for CLimate (CC4CL) processing algorithm. We focus on the novel features of the framework: the optimal estimation approach in general, explicit uncertainty quantification through rigorous propagation of all known error sources into the final product, and the consistency of our long-term, multi-platform time series provided at various resolutions, from 0.5 to 0.02°. By describing all key input data and processing steps, we aim to inform the user about important features of this new retrieval framework and its potential applicability to climate studies. We provide an overview of the retrieved and derived output variables. These are analysed for four, partly very challenging, scenes collocated with CALIOP (Cloud-Aerosol lidar with Orthogonal Polarization) observations in the high latitudes and over the Gulf of Guinea-West Africa. The results show that CC4CL provides very realistic estimates of cloud top height and cover for optically thick clouds but, where optically thin clouds overlap, returns a height between the two layers. CC4CL is a unique, coherent, multi-instrument cloud property retrieval framework applicable to passive sensor data of several EO missions. Through its flexibility, CC4CL offers the opportunity for combining a variety of historic and current EO missions into one dataset, which, compared to single sensor retrievals, is improved in terms of accuracy and temporal sampling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3373-3396
Number of pages24
JournalAtmospheric Measurement Techniques
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

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