GEWEX 1996

Contact: Taneil Uttal

The Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX) is part of the World Climate Photo of cummulus and K-band radar. Research Program. Although clouds, through radiative and hydrological effects, are a major element in governing climate, their influences on global climate are not well established quantitatively. Millimeter-wave radar is one promising tool that can provide detailed information on the altitudes, thicknesses, and reflectivities of single and multiple cloud layers. Global coverage of three-dimensional cloud conditions is expected to become a reality in the next decade when cloud radars are operated from satellites. ETL is analyzing its extensive "climatology" of ground-based cloud observations obtained with its NOAA/K radar during several recent field projects ( Arizona 95, ASTEX, FIRE-II ) in different parts of the world to determine the sensitivity and resolution that a satellite-borne radar will need in order to detect a specified percentage of all clouds.