ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2014, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 194-204

Features of the dynamics of the equatorial cloud cover of the Earth in 2005-2013 from MODIS Terra and Aqua data

A.G. Terekhov  , I.T. Park 
 Institute of Information and Computing Technology MES RK, Almaty 050010, Kazakhstan
Satellite monitoring data for 2005-2013 were analyzed to describe some aspects of the Earth’s cloud dynamics. The monthly NEO Cloud Fraction product with resolution of 0,1 degrees was used. These data are formed on the basis of sun-synchronous polar-orbiting satellite data of Terra (MODIS) and Aqua (MODIS). The Cloud Fraction parameter has variation from 0 to 100 and represents monthly spatial-temporal share of cloud coverage at local time on the satellite overpass. The Terra satellite crosses the equator at 10:30 am, the Aqua three hours later, at 01:30 p.m. It is shown that the cloud cover dynamics of the equatorial zone of the Northern Hemisphere (latitudes 0-10º N) has two time modes. The first mode refers to 2005 – 2009, and the second to 2010 - 2013. The mode of 2010-2013 was characterized by higher values of the spatial-temporal share of cloud coverage in the morning (Terra) during April - August. The cloud cover share in the 0-10º N latitudes area in a 25-month sample of the 2005-2009 period amounted to 75,3 ± 1,8% vs. 79,8 ± 2,1% in a similar 20-month sample of 2010-2013. The differences between morning (Terra) and mid-day (Aqua) cloud covers represented by monthly Cloud Fraction values were used for the description of cloud cover changes forming the new time mode of 2010-2013. It was shown that the 2010-2013 mode of the general cloud cover is formed due to the growth of the morning projective cloud cover in the equatorial and tropical Pacific Ocean areas. The tropical zone of the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth (latitudes 20-30º N) during 2010-2013 was characterized by a significant change of the seasonal (winter-summer) cyclicality parameters. Thus, the changes in many-year regimes of cloud cover modes were recorded in the zone of trade-wind and monsoon activity in the Northern Hemisphere that should have an affected weather patterns of middle latitudes.
Keywords: remote sensing, MODIS radiometry, global atmospheric circulation, general cloud cover, spatial- temporal coverage, year's cyclicality, equatorial zone, time modes
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