The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) is part of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS). CERES objectives include the following.n1) For climate change analysis, provide a continuation of the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) record of radiative fluxes at the top-of-the-atmosphere (TOA), analyzed using the same techniques as the existing ERBE data.n2) Double the accuracy of estimates of radiative fluxes at TOA and the earth's surface;n3) Provide the first long-term global estimates of the radiative fluxes within the earth's atmosphere.n4) Provide cloud property estimates collocated in space and time that are consistent with the radiative fluxes from surface to TOA.nIn order to accomplish these goals, CERES uses data from a combination of spaceborne instruments: CERES scanners, which are an improved version of the ERBE broadband radiometers, and collocated cloud spectral imager data on the same spacecraft. The CERES cloud and radiative flux data products should prove extremely useful in advancing the understanding of cloud-radiation interactions, particularly cloud feedback effects on the earth's radiation balance. For this reason, the CERES data should be fundamental to our ability to understand, detect, and predict global climate change. CERES results should also be very useful for studying regional climate changes associated with deforestation, desertification, anthropogenic aerosols, and El Nio/Southern Oscillation events.nThis overview summarizes the Release 2 version of the planned CERES data products and data analysis algorithms. These algorithms are a prototype for the system that will produce the scientific data required for studying the role of clouds and radiation in the earth's climate system. This release will produce a data processing system designed to analyze the first CERES data, planned for launch on Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) in November 1997, followed by the EOS morning (EOSAM1) platform in 1998.