Solar radiation enters the Earth's atmosphere with a portion being scattered by clouds and aerosols.

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at the NASA Langley Research Center

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Hurricane Debby

Hurricane Debby

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Hurricane Debby

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The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) acquired these views of the eastern edge of Hurricane Debby on August 21, 2000. The image on the left is a downward-looking (nadir) view, derived from MISR's Level 1B2 Georectified Radiance Ellipsoid Product. The middle and righthand panels illustrate the results of new approaches specially developed to retrieve cloud heights and winds from MISR multi-angle stereoscopic data.

The middle view shows retrieved cloud-top altitude; gradations from low (1-2 km) to high (12-14 km) cloud are depicted in shades ranging from blue to red. The stereo approach obtains these heights from geometric measurements alone, so it is independent of, and complementary to, commonly used satellite infrared methods that depend on assumptions about the atmospheric temperature profile. Using data at more than two angles, hyper-stereo MISR retrievals derive cloud-tracked winds at the different cloud levels. The wind vectors, shown in the right panel, reveal cyclonic motion associated with the storm. The largest wind speed retrieved approaches 100 km/hour. MISR classification of cloud height and motions globally will help us monitor the effects of climate change on the three-dimensional distribution of clouds, and will improve our understanding of cloud radiative forcing. The retrievals used to generate this image are from the MISR Level 2 Top-of-Atmosphere/Cloud Stereo Preview Product for Terra orbit 3600.

MISR was built and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Terra spacecraft is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. The MISR data were obtained from the NASA Langley Research Center Atmospheric Science Data Center in Hampton, VA.

Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/LaRC/JPL, MISR Team

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