The linked article discusses a ground based initiative to gather high-quality data about Antarctic clouds; which are critical for the accurate calibration of regional models:
Alexandra Witze (07 January 2016), "Antarctic clouds studied for first time in five decades
AWARE project will help unravel effects of global warming", Nature, Volume: 529, Pages: 12, doi:10.1038/529012ahttp://www.nature.com/news/antarctic-clouds-studied-for-first-time-in-five-decades-1.19110
Extract: "On Antarctica’s Ross Island, a short drive from the US McMurdo research station, high-tech radar antennas and other atmospheric instruments gaze skyward, gathering detailed measurements of West Antarctic clouds. Remarkably, these are the first such data to be gathered in five decades — even though weather patterns in the region can influence those half a world away.
The US$5-million project, known as the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE), began to observe the skies near McMurdo in November and will run until early 2017. A second measurement station, 1,600 kilometres away in the ice sheet’s interior, will operate until the end of this month. (The site is so remote that it can be used only during the Antarctic summer.)
A similar experiment in the Arctic in 1997–98 relied on an instrument-laden ship that was deliberately frozen into sea ice. It yielded fundamental insights into the physics of northern polar clouds, and AWARE scientists hope that their project will do the same for the south. “This is going to be a sea change in our understanding,” says Lynn Russell, an atmospheric scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, and a co-principal investigator on AWARE.
Antarctica’s massive ice sheet acts as a global heat sink. As a result, changes in Antarctic clouds, such as the amount of ground they cover or how much radiation they absorb, can have ripple effects as far away as the tropics. Climate modellers need to understand the physics of these clouds if they are to correctly work out how weather around the globe will change as the polar regions warm.
AWARE, which is led by Scripps atmospheric scientist Dan Lubin, aims to get the best data yet on clouds and aerosol particles above West Antarctica. That includes mixed phase clouds, which occur in polar regions and combine supercooled water with ice. Studies have shown that clouds moving across Antarctica’s interior are mostly ice, whereas those moving onshore from the coast contain more liquid water. The composition of these clouds plays a major part in determining how much sunlight they reflect into space — which helps to shape atmospheric circulation and weather patterns below."