• cloud base height;
  • apparent lapse rate;
  • retrieval;
  • boundary layer clouds


[1] A novel approach for estimating marine boundary layer cloud base height (CBH) is proposed based on calculated boundary layer lapse rates, collocated cloud top height (CTH), cloud top, and ocean surface temperatures from the A-Train satellite constellation. The method takes advantage of the assumption that decreases of temperature within and below water clouds may follow the different constant apparent lapse rates in the same region, respectively. The CBHs derived from the new method compare well with the coincident CBH product from the active sensors of Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) and CloudSat. The correlation coefficient, the mean difference, and the standard deviation are 0.79 (0.54), 0.02 km (0.03 km), and ±0.35 km (±0.54 km), respectively, when CTH is derived from CALIPSO data (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer retrieval). Besides the relatively small bias, the most important advantage of this method compared to previous CBH retrieval techniques is that it is independent of boundary layer cloud types, optical thickness, and illumination.