What Is the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP)?

The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) was established in 1982 as part of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) to collect weather satellite radiance measurements and to analyze them to infer the global distribution of clouds, their properties, and their diurnal, seasonal and interannual variations. The resulting datasets and analysis products are being used to study the role of clouds in climate, both their effects on radiative energy exchanges and their role in the global water cycle.

The ISCCP cloud datasets provide our first systematic global view of cloud behavior of the space and time scales of the weather yet covering a long enough time period to encompass several El Niño - La Niña cycles. Below is a single global snap-shot of clouds.

Sample ISCCP global map of clouds

ISCCP Accomplishments

ISCCP Project Description