SatFogClim Is fog really decreasing everywhere? - A new longterm fog climatology for Europe based on cross-generation satellite data from the geostationary orbit [funded by DFG]

Project staff:

Sheetabh Gaurav
Sebastian Egli


Fog has a high socio-economic and ecological relevance (source of water, obstruction in traffic, destabilisation of power grids, etc.). Due to its high albedo, it also influences the radiation balance of the atmosphere. Also, the exact quantification of the influence of low clouds and fog on the radiation budget of the atmosphere is a major uncertainty factor in the evaluation of future climate scenarios. Current long-term studies on fog occurrence on the basis of station data have shown that (at least) since the 1960s there has been a worldwide decrease in fog frequency. However, these are only punctual observations that cannot capture the influence of different land cover types and are also not very representative for exposed locations in mountain ranges. In order to be able to investigate these influences, the need for a long homogeneous time series of spatially explicit data on fog distribution is growing. Based on these research deficits, the following objectives result for the research project: The fog detection method developed by LCRS in 2018 is to be further developed and adapted to the MFG satellite series (1982-2006) by means of machine learning methods. Based on this, a consistent fog data set with a high spatiotemporal resolution and extensive coverage over the entire time series is to be created, as well as a weather situation-based fog climatology that can be derived from the data set. The data set will also be used to investigate spatio-climatological trends in fog distribution separately for different fog types and depending on topography and land use as well as the prevailing weather conditions.

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