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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 13, issue 14 | Copyright
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 6951-6963, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 23 Jul 2013

Research article | 23 Jul 2013

A decadal cirrus clouds climatology from ground-based and spaceborne lidars above the south of France (43.9° N–5.7° E)

C. Hoareau1, P. Keckhut2, V. Noel1, H. Chepfer1, and J.-L. Baray3 C. Hoareau et al.
  • 1LMD, UMR8539, INSU-CNRS, UPMC, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau Cedex, France
  • 2LATMOS, UMR8190, INSU-CNRS, UVSQ, UPMC, 11 Boulevard d'Alembert, 78820 Guyancourt, France
  • 3LACy, UMR8105, 15 avenue René Cassin-BP 7151-97715 St-Denis Cedex 09, La Réunion, France

Abstract. This study provides an analysis of cirrus cloud properties at midlatitude in the southern part of France from ground-based and spaceborne lidars. A climatology of cirrus cloud properties and their evolution over more than 12 yr is presented and compared to other mid-latitude climatological studies. Cirrus clouds occur ~37% of the total observation time and remain quasi-constant across seasons with a variation within ~5% around the mean occurrence. Similar results are obtained from CALIOP and the ground-based lidar, with a mean difference in occurrence of ~5% between both instruments. From the ground-based lidar data, a slight decrease in occurrence of ~3% per decade is observed but found statistically insignificant. Based on a clustering analysis of cirrus cloud parameters, three distinct classes have been identified and investigations concerning their origin are discussed. Properties of these different classes are analysed, showing that thin cirrus in the upper troposphere represent ~50% of cloud cover detected in summer and fall, decreasing by 15–20% for other seasons.

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