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Cloud Index retrievals from MIPAS ENVISAT L1B using MIPclouds algorithm

Update Frequency: Not Planned
Latest Data Update: 2020-04-29
Status: Completed
Online Status: ONLINE
Publication State: Published
Publication Date: 2017-08-09
Download Stats: last 12 months
Dataset Size: 2.27K Files | 8GB


This data set contains retrievals from Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding on Envisat (MIPAS-ENVISAT) cloud and aerosol and contains information on derived cloud-top height (km), cloud-top temperature (K), cloud extinction (cm-1), with uncertainties. It also includes the measured radiance in the three cloud microwindow bands (832.0-834.4 cm-1, 1232.3-1234.4 cm-1, 1973.0-1983.0 cm-1), with noise equivalent spectral radiance values. Cloud index values are also included which can be used to distinguish different clouds types based on the index value.

Citable as:  Sembhi, H.; Dudhia, A.; Moore, D.; Hurley, J.; Leigh, R.; Remedios, J.; Smith, A. (2017): Cloud Index retrievals from MIPAS ENVISAT L1B using MIPclouds algorithm. Centre for Environmental Data Analysis, date of citation.
Abbreviation: MIPclouds
Keywords: MIPAS, Cloud Index, ENVISAT, cloud-top, cloud extinction


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This work was funded by the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) under the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the ESA MIPclouds project. Data were produced by the University of Leicester Earth Observation Science (Harjinder Sembhi, David Moore, John Remedios, Rosie Leigh) and the University of Oxford AOPP group (Anu Dudhia, Jane Hurley, Andrew Smith). Data deposted by University of leicester with CEDA for archival.

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Process overview

This dataset was generated by a combination of instruments deployed on platforms and computations as detailed below.

Mobile platform operations

Mobile Platform Operation 1 Mobile Platform Operation for: Envisat

Computation Element: 1

Title MIPclouds Algorithm
Abstract The purpose of the Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD) is to present the algorithm and technical details necessary to realise a processor for the retrieval of cloud properties form the Level 1b (L1B) data of ESA instrument MIPAS on-board the ENVISAT satellite. The infrared spectra measured by MIPAS (main information of L1B) include sufficient information to retrieve various cloud parameter. Recent publications have already shown the large potential of the dataset ([11], [12], [5], [6]). But so far no validated and consolidated MIPAS cloud product is available for the scientific community. Consequently the development of a cloud parameter processor for MIPAS and the application to the time series is highly desired. The proposed MIPAS cloud processor follows the requirements of the statement of work of the ESA-ITT AO/1-5255/06/I-OL. Therefore the development and application of the processor is so far restricted to the first Detailed information on the data available at:measurement period of MIPAS from July 2002 to March 2004 (spectral high resolution (HR) mode). After 2004 MIPAS is operating with slightly reduced resolution (RR-mode). A transfer of the prototype processor for application of the RR mode has been taken into account during the algorithm development. It is desirable, that this will be also considered in the realisation phase of the prototype processor. Primary task of the software is to retrieve cloud properties from the MIPAS L1B spectra. This contains various items of interest: • the detection of cloudy spectra in the L1B data • to classify various cloud types in the measurements (e.g. polar stratospheric clouds, liquids and ice clouds) • to retrieve cloud top information on height, temperature, pressure • to retrieve profile information on cloud parameters (e.g.. extinction, ice water path or integrated limb path quantities like volume/area density path) • information on microphysical parameter like effective radius of the particle size distribution (PSD) or Volume and Area densities. The retrievability of the cloud parameters like the ones above have been investigated in a feasibility study of the MIPclouds project 1) Spang, R., Remedios, J. J., and Barkley, M., Colour Indices for the Detection and Differentiation of Cloud Types in Infra-red Limb Emission Spectra, Adv. Space Res., 33, pp.1041-1047, 2004. 2) Spang, R., Arndt, K., Dudhia, A., Höpfner, M., Hoffmann, L., Hurley, J., Grainger, R. G., Griessbach, S., Poulsen, C., Remedios, J. J., Riese, M., Sembhi, H., Siddans, R., Waterfall, A., and Zehner, C.: Fast cloud parameter retrievals of MIPAS/Envisat, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 7135-7164, doi:10.5194/acp-12-7135- 2012, 2012. 3) Sembhi, H., Remedios, J., Trent, T., Moore, D. P., Spang, R., Massie, S., and Vernier, J.-P.: MIPAS detection of cloud and aerosol particle occurrence in the UTLS with comparison to HIRDLS and CALIOP, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 5, 2537- 2553, doi:10.5194/amtd-5-2537-2012, 2012 4) Hurley, J., Dudhia, A., and Grainger, R. G.: Retrieval of macrophysical cloud parameters from MIPAS: algorithm description, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 4, 683- 704, doi:10.5194/amt-4-20 683-2011, 2011."
Input Description None
Output Description None
Software Reference None
Output Description


  • standard_name: altitude
  • units: km
  • long_name: Altitude (km) information for profiles in MIPAS NOMINAL mode
  • var_id: ALTITUDE_OR_UTLS2
  • units: km-1
  • long_name: Cloud Extinction (km-1) from Oxford MIPAS retrieval
  • var_id: CEX_OR_UTLS2
  • units: km-1
  • long_name: Cloud Extinction (km-1) standard deviation from Oxford MIPAS retrieval
  • var_id: CEX_SD_OR_UTLS2
  • units: km-1
  • long_name: Cloud Index from Oxford MIPAS retrieval
  • var_id: CI_OX_OR_UTLS2
  • long_name: Cloud Top Temperature
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Cloud Top Temperature
  • names: Cloud Top Temperature,
  • units: K
  • standard_name: air_temperature_at_cloud_top
  • long_name: Cloud Top Temperature (K) from Oxford MIPAS retrieval
  • var_id: CTT_OR_UTLS2
  • units: K
  • long_name: Cloud Top Temperature (K) standard deviation from Oxford MIPAS retrieval
  • var_id: CTT_SD_OR_UTLS2
  • units: km
  • standard_name: cloud_top_altitude
  • long_name: Cloud Top height (km) from Oxford MIPAS retrieval
  • var_id: CTH_OR_UTLS2
  • units: km
  • long_name: Cloud Top height (km) standard deviation from Oxford MIPAS retrieval
  • var_id: CTH_SD_OR_UTLS2
  • units: 1
  • long_name: Cloud index calculated from bands A,B & D for MIPAS NOMINAL mode
  • var_id: CI_OR_UTLS2
  • units: km
  • long_name: Cloud/Aerosol top height (km) calculated from CI-A MIPAS NOMINAL mode measurements
  • var_id: CATH_OR_UTLS2
  • units: 1
  • long_name: Flag = 1 if data for the measurement mode exists; Flag = 0 if data is dummy only
  • units: 1
  • long_name: Timestamp (string) for profiles in MIPAS NOMINAL mode
  • var_id: TIMESTAMP_OR_UTLS2
  • units: 1
  • long_name: Uncertainty on cloud index calculated from bands A,B & D for MIPAS NOMINAL mode
  • var_id: CI_UNC_OR_UTLS2

Co-ordinate Variables

  • standard_name: latitude
  • units: Degrees
  • long_name: Latitude information for profiles in MIPAS NOMINAL mode
  • var_id: LATITUDE_OR_UTLS2
  • standard_name: longitude
  • units: Degrees
  • long_name: Longitude information for profiles in MIPAS NOMINAL mode
  • var_id: LONGITUDE_OR_UTLS2
Temporal Range
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