Serving as two key determinants of the planet’s radiation budget and the water cycle, cloud and precipitation have fundamental influences on the formation of the climate system. Satellite remote sensing of cloud and precipitation has evolved from the need to detect their spatial and temporal distribution characteristics on a global scale, to untangle their underlying complex processes and interactions. A European-Japanese mission, Earth Clouds, Aerosols and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE), is one such satellite project that aims in particular to provide observations necessary to advance our understanding of their vertical structures and interactions with aerosols and radiation. In her seminar talk, Maki will give an overview of the EarthCARE mission, with a focus on what kind of geophysical products will be provided to the satellite analysis and climate modelling communities. She will also introduce her recent research on the algorithm development of cloud and precipitation using NASA’s radar and lidar measurements by CloudSat and CALIPSO satellites, which are viewed as the historical predecessors of the EarthCARE.
Brief Biography: Maki Kikuchi is a Researcher in the Earth Observation Research Center at Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Since joining JAXA in 2011, her main role was managing the development of the JAXA geophysical algorithms for the joint European-Japanese Earth Clouds, Aerosols and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) mission. In recent years, she was also engaged in managing the JAXA products of the Japanese geostationary satellite, Himawari-8. She received her PhD in Atmospheric Science from the University of Tokyo in 2018. Her PhD research, and her recent study, has focused on developing algorithms to retrieve cloud/precipitation phase and ice crystal shapes from satellite-borne radar and lidar measurements to understand their behaviours in cloud-precipitation processes. In 2019, she joined the Center for Water, Climate and Land (CWCL) at the University of Newcastle in Australia as a Visiting Academic. While at the University of Newcastle, she investigates on the use of satellite observation data in the decision-making of water resource management.