Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility US Department of Energy


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microbasekaplus > improved MICROBASE product with UncertaintiesVAP Type(s) > Evaluation

Cloud microphysical properties affect cloud radiative heating, precipitation formation, and aerosol-cloud interactions, among other important atmospheric processes. New evaluation data are now available from a value-added product (VAP) that builds upon the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility’s historical Continuous Baseline Microphysical Retrieval (MICROBASE) VAP.

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The Improved MICROBASE Product with Uncertainties (MICROBASEKAPLUS) provides continuous, high-time-resolution profiles of cloud microphysical properties such as the liquid/ice water content and liquid/ice effective radius. The VAP was primarily developed for estimating radiative heating rate profiles, but scientists can use it for diverse applications, including evaluation of model cloud parameterizations, process studies of precipitation formation, and cloud particle phase partitioning.

To determine the cloud microphysical properties, MICROBASEKAPLUS uses a combination of data from the Active Remote Sensing of CLouds (ARSCL) product using Ka-Band ARM Zenith Radars (KAZRARSCL), the Interpolated Sonde (INTERPSONDE) VAP, and the Microwave Radiometer Retrievals (MWRRET) VAP.

The MICROBASEKAPLUS product is archived as daily data files, with a time resolution of 4 seconds and vertical resolution of 30 meters to 18,010 meters, which is consistent with the KAZRARSCL data resolution.

MICROBASEKAPLUS uses parameterizations identical to those used by MICROBASE for determining the liquid/ice water content and liquid/ice effective radius. However, MICROBASEKAPLUS adds uncertainties to these quantities using a perturbation method first applied through the Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Quantifying Uncertainty in Cloud Retrievals (QUICR) science focus group (Zhao et al. 2014).

Ongoing work aims to use MICROBASEKAPLUS within the ARM Operational Ground-Based Retrieval Evaluation for Clouds (OGRE-CLOUDS) framework, evaluating improvements to cloud microphysics retrievals through radiative closure studies, and comparisons to instrument observations. Through this process, the development team anticipates a continuous improvement of the cloud microphysical estimates.

During this evaluation period, please send any product-related comments and suggestions to ARM translator Scott Giangrande, principal investigator Michael Jensen, or VAP developer Meng Wang. Such feedback will assist in improving the product before its full release.


Cloud radiative effects are defined by their microphysical properties.

Long-term estimate of cloud microphysical properties combined with field and model studies provide an opportunity to improve process understanding.



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Data Details

Developed By Meng Wang | Michael Jensen
Contact Meng Wang
Resource(s) Data Directory
Data format netcdf
Site SGP
Content time range 18 January 2011 - 31 December 2021
Attribute accuracy No formal attribute accuracy tests were conducted.
Positional accuracy No formal positional accuracy tests were conducted.
Data Consistency and Completeness Data set is considered complete for the information presented, as described in the abstract. Users are advised to read the rest of the metadata record carefully for additional details.
Access Restriction No access constraints are associated with this data.
Use Restriction No use constraints are associated with this data.
File naming convention Ka band microbase similar product, add uncertainties as a plus
Citations Improved MICROBASE Product with Uncertainties 10.5439/1438196

Dunn, M., K. L. Johnson, and M. P. Jensen, 2011: U.S. DOE, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research. DOE/SC-ARM/TR-095.

Zhao, C. et al., 2013: J. Geophys Res. Atmos., 119, doi:10.1002/2013JD021112.


Van Weverberg K, C Morcrette, I Boutle, K Furtado, and P Field. 2021. "A Bimodal Diagnostic Cloud Fraction Parameterization. Part I: Motivating Analysis and Scheme Description." Monthly Weather Review, 149(3), 10.1175/MWR-D-20-0224.1.
Research Highlight

Van Weverberg K, C Morcrette, and I Boutle. 2021. "A Bimodal Diagnostic Cloud Fraction Parameterization. Part II: Evaluation and Resolution Sensitivity." Monthly Weather Review, 149(3), 10.1175/MWR-D-20-0230.1.
Research Highlight

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Scott Giangrande
Brookhaven National Laboratory

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