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The MODIS Cloud Properties products combine infrared and visible data observations to determine both physical and radiative cloud properties. This suite offers daily global Level-2 data products. Cloud-particle phase (ice vs. water, clouds vs. snow), effective cloud-particle radius, and cloud optical thickness are derived using the MODIS visible and near-infrared channel radiances. An indication of cloud shadows affecting the scene is also provided. Cloud-top temperature, height, effective emissivity, phase (ice vs. water, opaque vs. non-opaque), and cloud fraction are produced by the infrared retrieval methods for both day and night at 5x5 1-km-pixel resolution. Finally, this MODIS product includes cirrus reflectance at visible wavelength at 1-km-pixel resolution, which is useful for removing cirrus scattering effects from the land-surface reflectance product. This suite contains two MODIS Cloud products: MOD06_L2, containing data collected from the Terra platform, and MYD06_L2, containing data collected from the Aqua platform.
Another set of daily (MCD06COSP_D3_MODIS) and monthly (MCD06COSP_M3_MODIS) products is the Level-3 Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project (CFMIP) Observation Simulator Package, which is a combined Aqua and Terra MODIS product that is designed to facilitate climate scientists to compare models and observations by producing synthetic MODIS observations from climate model integrations.
Cloud properties exemplify a number of attributes: Cloud optical thickness, cloud-particle phase, cloud-particle effective radius, cloud-top temperature and height, cloud thermodynamic phase, cloud fraction, etc. The NASA Continuity Cloud Properties collection (CLDMSK, CLDPROP) is designed to sustain the long-term observational records of both Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) heritages. The Continuity Cloud Properties are available for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA20) VIIRS, Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) VIIRS, and Aqua MODIS. Each of these three imager product suites contain Level-2, 6-minute products (5-minute for MODIS), and Level-3 daily and monthly products.
The original MODIS cloud-top and cloud optical properties algorithms (MOD06 suite) benefit from certain MODIS-specific thermal infrared, water vapor and CO2 absorption channels. The lack of such spectral channels in the VIIRS instrument prevents directly porting the original MODIS algorithms to VIIRS. To ensure a commonly applicable continuity approach to data from both the VIIRS and MODIS missions, the CLDPROP algorithm was developed that leverages a subset if the spectral channels that are common to both instruments.
Cirrus clouds, a common variety of high altitude clouds composed of ice crystals, play a crucial role in understanding weather, climate, and earth-energy balance. The SNPP VIIRS-derived Cirrus Reflectance is separate L2 product in the Cloud Properties group that is based on an adapted version of a similar MODIS MOD06 algorithm utilizing the 1.38µm water vapor absorption band, with major modifications and improvements.