Cirrus Experiment

Project Description
The FIRE Cirrus Intensive Field Observations-II (IFO-II) was conducted
November 13 - December 3, 1991, in southeastern Kansas. The goal of
Cirrus IFO-II was to investigate the cloud properties and physical
processes of mid-continent cirrus clouds and advected sub-tropical
cirrus clouds. The Cirrus IFO-II combined coordinated satellite,
airborne, and surface-based observations with modeling activities to
study the roles and interactions of processes acting over telescoping
scales ranging from the microscale to the large-scale and on
characterizing the physical, radiative, and optical properties of
cirrus clouds (E7IRE Cirrus Intensive Field Observations-II:
Operations Plan, 1991). The data has been instrumental in developing
parameterizations relating cloud-scale processes to climate-scale
variables, and in improving our understanding and utilization of ISCCP
data products.


The key science objectives for the Cirrus IFO-II field experiment were to:

Incorporate FIRE-I data and -II data into models of varying scale and
complexity for the purpose of developing and testing CIRRUS
parameterizations and assessing capabilities to reliably simulate
cirrus development on short and long time scales. Characterize the
physical, thermodynamical, and dynamical development of cirrus clouds
on the synoptic scale, the mesoscale, the convective/turbulent scale,
and the microscale. Characterize relationships among various cirrus
cloud optical properties, including, cloud optical depths in the
visible, near infrared, and infrared, cloud scattering phase
functions, and cloud single-scattering albedos; and the corresponding
cloud physical properties, including, particle size, number density,
phase, and habit, and cloud height, temperature, and thickness.
Explicitly quantify the capabilities and limitations of methods to
derive physical and optical cirrus cloud properties from satellite
observations, especially ISCCP, and future techniques for producing
global cloud climatologies in the EOS era. Quantify the impact of
cirrus clouds on the surface, atmosphere, and top-of- atmosphere
radiation budgets. Improve the capability to utilize surface-based
active and passive remote sensing observations for quantitative
studies of cirrus clouds.

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