Cloud Water Content (1 month - Terra/MODIS)

Cloud Water Content (1 month - Terra/MODIS) | NASA

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About this dataset

Clouds are made up of trillions of tiny water droplets and ice crystals. Have you ever wondered how much water all those particles add up to? Of course, the answer is different for different types of clouds. Thin, wispy cirrus clouds contain much less water than thick, puffy-looking cumulus clouds. Scientists want to measure how much water is in a cloud because that information helps them to better understand where and how much water moves back and forth between Earth's surface and atmosphere. Knowing how much water is in a cloud also helps them to better estimate how much sunlight that cloud will reflect back into space and how much warmth that cloud traps near Earth's surface. Today, scientists use NASA satellites to measure how much water is in clouds all over the world. The colors on these maps show how many grams of water per square meter you would get if you squashed all the water out of the clouds into a flat layer on the ground. White areas show clouds with a lot of water, pink shades show less water, and purple shows little or no cloud water.

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June 2024

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Related Websites



MODIS Atmosphere

MODIS on Earthdata

Further Reading

What Climate Change Means for Glaciers, Storms, Fires, Clouds, and More

ATBD (Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document)

Cloud Retrieval Algorithms for MODIS: Optical Thickness, Effective Particle Radius, and Thermodynamic Phase


Imagery produced by the NASA Earth Observations team based on data provided by the MODIS Atmosphere Science Team, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Federal Geographic Data Committee Geospatial Metadata

View the FGDC Metatdata for Cloud Water Content (1 month - Terra/MODIS)

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