Meeting Talks


Development of a European pilot network of stations for observing cloud profiles

Cloudnet overview paper (BAMS, 2007). PDF version is available for download here
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New! Intercomparison of the cloud fraction forecasts of 6 models

Cloudnet is a research project supported by the European Commission under the Fifth Framework Programme and contributing to the implementation of the Key Action "Global change, climate and biodiversity" within the Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development Contract no. EVK2 - 2000 - 00611 .


This project which started on 1 April 2001, aims to use data obtained quasi-continuously for the development and implementation of cloud remote sensing synergy algorithms. The use of active instruments (lidar and radar) results in detailed vertical profiles of important cloud parameters which cannot be derived from current satellite sensing techniques.
A network of three already existing cloud remote sensing stations (CRS-stations) will be operated for a two year period, activities will be co-ordinated, data formats harmonised and joint, analysis of the data performed to evaluate the representation of clouds in four major european weather forecast models.

Scientific objectives

The overall objectives are:
  1. To optimise the use of existing data sets to develop and validate cloud remote sensing synergy algorithms.
  2. To demonstrate the importance of an operational network of CRS-stations to provide data for the improvement of the representation of clouds in climate and weather forecast models and for the use of GCOS.
This involves:
  1. Development of algorithms for deriving ice and liquid water content and particle size from ground based lidars, radars and radiometers.
  2. Comparing the observed cloud properties from existing data sets and at three ground stations operated quasi-continuously over a two years with the values held in the corresponding model grid boxes for four European operational forecasting models
  3. Collaboration with European industry so that the instrument techniques and algorithms developed can be implemented to provide operational cloud profile data.

Download the Cloudnet brochure here


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