#15 Topic: Atmospheric water cycle variables from space
Lecturer: Susanne Crewell
Date: Monday, December 6, 2021 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.


Satellites are the only mean to get Arctic wide information with reasonable space-time resolution. However, extracting geophysical variables from the measured radiation measurements is less than trivial. Methods based on solar radiation can not be used during polar night and also suffer from problems distinguishing bright clouds and ice surfaces. Similar thermal infrared measurements are also affected strongly by clouds such that the frequent Arctic clouds block their view. Microwave measurements which have been performed from space since several decades now and for which clouds are semi-transparent offer exciting opportunities for different parameters. The surface emissivity strongly depends on the surface state and thus this information has been used as a workhorse for sea ice concentration. However, multi-spectral microwave measurements also allow insights into water vapor, clouds and precipitation.
In this lecture, the principles of microwave measurements for atmospheric water cycle parameters will be explained together with their advantages and disadvantages. For this purpose, exercises using real measurements will be discussed as well as the synergy with other measurement techniques.