ISCCP CATALOG OF DATA AND PRODUCTS
1.1 HISTORY AND OBJECTIVES OF THE ISCCP
The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) has been designed to provide for the production of a five year global cloud climatology by taking advantage of the global coverage provided by the planned international array of geostationary and polar orbiting meteorological satellites. The specifications for such a climatology were established originally in Oxford, England in 1978, by the World Meteorological Organization/International Council of Scientific Unions (WMO/ICSU) Joint Organizing Committee for the Global Atmospheric Research Programme (GARP) Study Conference on Parameterization of Extended Cloudiness and Radiation for Climate Models. Refinements in the specifications were made at subsequent meetings held in Balatonalmadi, Hungary in June 1980 (Meeting on Real-Time Satellite Derived Cloud Climatology) and Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany in August-September 1981 (Workshop in Support of the ISCCP on Development of Algorithms). Details about the project are contained in the Preliminary Implementation Plan (WCP, 1982c) and also in Schiffer and Rossow (1983).
In 1988, the Joint Scientific Committee (JSC) of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) extended the ISCCP for an additional seven years. In 1995, it was given another five year extension. Thus, the collection period for ISCCP is currently seventeen years (July 1983-June 2000).
The scientific objectives of the ISCCP are:
1) To produce a global, reduced resolution, infrared and visible, calibrated and normalized radiance data set containing basic information on the radiative properties of the atmosphere, from which cloud parameters can be derived.
(2) To stimulate and coordinate basic research on techniques for inferring the physical properties of clouds from the condensed radiance data set and to apply the resulting algorithms to derive and validate a global cloud climatology for improving the parameterization of clouds in climate models.
(3) To promote research using ISCCP data in contributing to an improved understanding of the earth's radiation budget (top of the atmosphere and surface) and of the hydrological cycle.
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