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Cloud optical thickness variations during 1983-1991: Solar cycle or ENSO?

Kuang, Zhiming and Jiang, Yibo and Yung, Yuk L. (1998) Cloud optical thickness variations during 1983-1991: Solar cycle or ENSO? Geophysical Research Letters, 25 (9). pp. 1415-1417. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/98GL00471.

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Based on a detailed analysis of the cloud data obtained by the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) in the years 1983–1991, we show that besides the reported 3% variation in global cloudiness (Svensmark and Friis-Christensen, 1997), the global mean cloud optical thickness (MCOT) also has significant variation which is out of phase with that of the global cloudiness. The combined effect of the two opposing variations may be a null effect on the cloud reflectivity. These results are consistent with the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) reflectivity measurements. The MCOT variation is further shown to be correlated with both the solar cycle and the ENSO cycle. Our present analysis cannot distinguish which of the above two provides better correlation, although independent data from the High resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) from 1990 to 1996 favor the solar cycle. Future data are needed to identify the true cause of these changes.

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Jiang, Yibo0000-0001-6711-7260
Yung, Yuk L.0000-0002-4263-2562
Additional Information:© 1998 American Geophysical Union. Received October 15, 1997; revised January 7, 1998; accepted January 16, 1998. We thank R. M. Goody, R. D. Haskins, K. Hsu, C. B. Leovy, K. K. Tung, B. Tinsley, W. Rossow and two anonymous referees for valuable insights. We are especially grateful to the referee who directed us to the paper by Menzel et al. [1997]. This research was supported in part by NASA grant NAGl-1806 to the California Institute of Technology.
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Issue or Number:9
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Official Citation:Kuang, Z., Jiang, Y., & Yung, Y. L. (1998). Cloud optical thickness variations during 1983–1991: Solar cycle or ENSO? Geophysical Research Letters, 25(9), 1415-1417. doi: 10.1029/98gl00471
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:48672
Deposited On:19 Aug 2014 18:21
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 18:34

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