Publications

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2014
Werner, F, Ditas F, Siebert H, Simmel M, Wehner B, Pilewskie P, Schmeissner T, Shaw RA, Hartmann S, Wex H, Roberts GC, Wendisch M.  2014.  Twomey effect observed from collocated microphysical and remote sensing measurements over shallow cumulus. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 119:1534-1545.   10.1002/2013jd020131   AbstractWebsite

Clear experimental evidence of the Twomey effect for shallow trade wind cumuli near Barbados is presented. Effective droplet radius (r(eff)) and cloud optical thickness (), retrieved from helicopter-borne spectral cloud-reflected radiance measurements, and spectral cloud reflectivity () are correlated with collocated in situ observations of the number concentration of aerosol particles from the subcloud layer (N). N denotes the concentration of particles larger than 80 nm in diameter and represents particles in the activation mode. In situ cloud microphysical and aerosol parameters were sampled by the Airborne Cloud Turbulence Observation System (ACTOS). Spectral cloud-reflected radiance data were collected by the Spectral Modular Airborne Radiation measurement sysTem (SMART-HELIOS). With increasing N a shift in the probability density functions of and toward larger values is observed, while the mean values and observed ranges of retrieved r(eff) decrease. The relative susceptibilities (RS) of r(eff), , and to N are derived for bins of constant liquid water path. The resulting values of RS are in the range of 0.35 for r(eff) and , and 0.27 for . These results are close to the maximum susceptibility possible from theory. Overall, the shallow cumuli sampled near Barbados show characteristics of homogeneous, plane-parallel clouds. Comparisons of RS derived from in situ measured r(eff) and from a microphysical parcel model are in close agreement.

2009
Stith, JL, Ramanathan V, Cooper WA, Roberts GC, DeMott PJ, Carmichael G, Hatch CD, Adhikary B, Twohy CH, Rogers DC, Baumgardner D, Prenni AJ, Campos T, Gao R, Anderson J, Feng Y.  2009.  An overview of aircraft observations from the Pacific Dust Experiment campaign. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 114   10.1029/2008jd010924   AbstractWebsite

Fourteen research flights were conducted in the Pacific Dust Experiment (PACDEX) during April and May 2007 to sample pollution and dust outbreaks from east Asia as they traveled across the northern Pacific Ocean into North America and interacted with maritime storms. Significant concentrations of black carbon (BC, consisting of soot and other light-absorbing particles measured with a soot photometer 2 instrument) and dust were observed both in the west and east Pacific Ocean from Asian plumes of dust and pollution. BC particles were observed through much of the troposphere, but the major finding is that the percentage of these particles compared with the total number of accumulation mode particles increased significantly (by a factor of 2-4) with increasing altitude, with peak values occurring between 5 and 10 km. Dust plumes had only a small impact on total cloud condensation nuclei at the sampling supersaturations but did exhibit high concentrations of ice nuclei (IN). IN concentrations in dust plumes exceeded typical tropospheric values by 4-20 times and were similar to previous studies in the Saharan aerosol layer when differences in the number concentrations of dust are accounted for. Enhanced IN concentrations were found in the upper troposphere off the coast of North America, providing a first direct validation of the transport of high-IN-containing dust layers near the tropopause entering the North American continent from distant sources. A source-specific chemical transport model was used to predict dust and other aerosols during PACDEX. The model was able to predict several features of the in situ observations, including the general altitudes where BC was found and a peak in the ratio of BC to sulfate between 5 and 10 km.

2008
Corrigan, CE, Roberts GC, Ramana MV, Kim D, Ramanathan V.  2008.  Capturing vertical profiles of aerosols and black carbon over the Indian Ocean using autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 8:737-747.   10.5194/acp-8-737-2008   AbstractWebsite

Measurements of the vertical distribution of aerosol properties provide essential information for generating more accurate model estimates of radiative forcing and atmospheric heating rates compared with employing remotely sensed column averaged properties. A month long campaign over the Indian Ocean during March 2006 investigated the interaction of aerosol, clouds, and radiative effects. Routine vertical profiles of aerosol and water vapor were determined using autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with miniaturized instruments. Comparisons of these airborne instruments with established ground-based instruments and in aircraft-to-aircraft comparisons demonstrated an agreement within 10%. Aerosol absorption optical depths measured directly using the unmanned aircraft differed from columnar AERONET sun-photometer results by only 20%. Measurements of total particle concentration, particle size distributions, aerosol absorption and black carbon concentrations are presented along with the trade wind thermodynamic structure from the surface to 3000 m above sea level. Early March revealed a well-mixed layer up to the cloud base at 500 m above mean sea level (m a.s.l.), followed by a decrease of aerosol concentrations with altitude. The second half of March saw the arrival of a high altitude plume existing above the mixed layer that originated from a continental source and increased aerosol concentrations by more than tenfold, yet the surface air mass showed little change in aerosol concentrations and was still predominantly influenced by marine sources. Black carbon concentrations at 1500 m above sea level increased from 70 ng/m(3) to more than 800 ng/m(3) with the arrival of this polluted plume. The absorption aerosol optical depth increased from as low as 0.005 to as much as 0.035 over the same period. The spectral dependence of the aerosol absorption revealed an absorption Angstrom exponent of 1.0, which is typical of an aerosol with most of its absorption attributed to black carbon and generally indicates the absorbing component originated from fossil fuel sources and other high-temperature combustion sources. The results indicate that surface measurements do not represent the aerosol properties within the elevated layers, especially if these layers are influenced by long range transport.

2007
Hadley, OL, Ramanathan V, Carmichael GR, Tang Y, Corrigan CE, Roberts GC, Mauger GS.  2007.  Trans-Pacific transport of black carbon and fine aerosols (D < 2.5 ┬Ám) into North America. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 112   10.1029/2006jd007632   AbstractWebsite

[1] This study presents estimates of long-range transport of black carbon (BC) and aerosol fine mass (diameter less than 2.5 mm) across the Pacific Ocean into North America during April 2004. These transport estimates are based on simulations by the Chemical Weather Forecast System (CFORS) model and evaluated across 130 degrees W, (30 degrees N-60 degrees N) from 26 March through 25 April 2004. CFORS calculates BC transport into North America at 25-32 Gg of which over 75% originates from Asia. Modeled fine aerosol mass transport is between 900 and 1100 Gg. The BC transport amounts to about 77% of the published estimates of North American BC emissions. Approximately 78% of the BC and 82% of the fine aerosol mass transport occur in the midtroposphere above 2 km. Given the relatively large magnitude of the estimated BC transport, we undertake a detailed validation of the model simulations of fine aerosol mass and BC over the west coast of North America. In situ aircraft data were available for the month of April 2004 to assess the accuracy of model simulations of aerosols in the lower troposphere. Aircraft data for aerosol mass collected in the eastern Pacific Ocean during April 2004 as part of the Cloud Indirect Forcing Experiment, as well as surface measurements of fine mass and BC at 30 west coast locations, are compared to CFORS predictions. These surface sites are part of the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) network. Both the aircraft and the IMPROVE data sets reveal similar patterns of good agreement near and above the boundary layer accompanied by large overprediction within the boundary layer. The observational data validate the CFORS simulations of BC and fine aerosol mass above the boundary layer. The near-surface overprediction does not impair the major conclusions of this study regarding long-range aerosol and BC transport, as most of the long-range transport occurs above 2 km. From this we conclude that the transport of BC from Asia and other regions west is a major source of BC at high elevations over North America. The simulated concentrations of BC between 1 and 3 km, as well as the measured BC concentrations over the elevated IMPROVE sites, range from 0.1 to 0.3 mu g/m(3). Direct radiative forcing over North America due to the modeled BC concentration between 1 and 15 km is estimated at an additional 2.04-2.55 W/m(2) absorbed in the atmosphere and a dimming of-1.45 to-1.47 W/m(2) at the surface. The impact of transported BC on the regional radiation budget through direct and indirect effects of the transported BC and other aerosols warrants further study.

2003
VanReken, TM, Rissman TA, Roberts GC, Varutbangkul V, Jonsson HH, Flagan RC, Seinfeld JH.  2003.  Toward aerosol/cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) closure during CRYSTAL-FACE. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 108   10.1029/2003jd003582   AbstractWebsite

[1] During July 2002, measurements of cloud condensation nuclei were made in the vicinity of southwest Florida as part of the Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers-Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (CRYSTAL-FACE) field campaign. These observations, at supersaturations of 0.2 and 0.85%, are presented here. The performance of each of the two CCN counters was validated through laboratory calibration and an in situ intercomparison. The measurements indicate that the aerosol sampled during the campaign was predominantly marine in character: the median concentrations were 233 cm(-3) (at S = 0.2%) and 371 cm(-3) (at S = 0.85%). Three flights during the experiment differed from this general trend; the aerosol sampled during the two flights on 18 July was more continental in character, and the observations on 28 July indicate high spatial variability and periods of very high aerosol concentrations. This study also includes a simplified aerosol/CCN closure analysis. Aerosol size distributions were measured simultaneously with the CCN observations, and these data are used to predict a CCN concentration using Kohler theory. For the purpose of this analysis, an idealized composition of pure ammonium sulfate was assumed. The analysis indicates that in this case, there was good general agreement between the predicted and observed CCN concentrations: at S = 0.2%, N-predicted/N-observed = 1.047 (R-2 = 0.911); at S = 0.85%, N-predicted/N-observed = 1.201 (R-2 = 0.835). The impacts of the compositional assumption and of including in-cloud data in the analysis are addressed. The effect of removing the data from the 28 July flight is also examined; doing so improves the result of the closure analysis at S = 0.85%. When omitting that atypical flight, N-predicted/N-observed = 1.085 (R-2 = 0.770) at S = 0.85%.