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Sanchez, KJ, Roberts GC, Calmer R, Nicoll K, Hashimshoni E, Rosenfeld D, Ovadnevaite J, Preissler J, Ceburnis D, O'Dowd C, Russell LM.  2017.  Top-down and bottom-up aerosol-cloud closure: towards understanding sources of uncertainty in deriving cloud shortwave radiative flux. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 17:9797-9814.   10.5194/acp-17-9797-2017   AbstractWebsite

Top-down and bottom-up aerosol-cloud shortwave radiative flux closures were conducted at the Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station in Galway, Ireland, in August 2015. This study is part of the BACCHUS (Impact of Biogenic versus Anthropogenic emissions on Clouds and Climate: towards a Holistic UnderStanding) European collaborative project, with the goal of understanding key processes affecting aerosol-cloud shortwave radiative flux closures to improve future climate predictions and develop sustainable policies for Europe. Instrument platforms include ground-based unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)(1) and satellite measurements of aerosols, clouds and meteorological variables. The ground-based and airborne measurements of aerosol size distributions and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentration were used to initiate a 1-D microphysical aerosol-cloud parcel model (ACPM). UAVs were equipped for a specific science mission, with an optical particle counter for aerosol distribution profiles, a cloud sensor to measure cloud extinction or a five-hole probe for 3D wind vectors. UAV cloud measurements are rare and have only become possible in recent years through the miniaturization of instrumentation. These are the first UAV measurements at Mace Head. ACPM simulations are compared to in situ cloud extinction measurements from UAVs to quantify closure in terms of cloud shortwave radiative flux. Two out of seven cases exhibit sub-adiabatic vertical temperature profiles within the cloud, which suggests that entrainment processes affect cloud microphysical properties and lead to an overestimate of simulated cloud shortwave radiative flux. Including an entrainment parameterization and explicitly calculating the entrainment fraction in the ACPM simulations both improved cloud-top radiative closure. Entrainment reduced the difference between simulated and observation-derived cloud-top shortwave radiative flux (delta RF) by between 25 and 60Wm(-2). After accounting for entrainment, satellite-derived cloud droplet number concentrations (CDNCs) were within 30% of simulated CDNC. In cases with a well-mixed boundary layer, delta RF is no greater than 20Wm(-2) after accounting for cloud-top entrainment and up to 50Wm(-2) when entrainment is not taken into account. In cases with a decoupled boundary layer, cloud microphysical properties are inconsistent with ground-based aerosol measurements, as expected, and delta RF is as high as 88Wm(-2), even high (> 30Wm(-2)) after accounting for cloud-top entrainment. This work demonstrates the need to take in situ measurements of aerosol properties for cases where the boundary layer is decoupled as well as consider cloud-top entrainment to accurately model stratocumulus cloud radiative flux.

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.

Russell, LM, Sorooshian A, Seinfeld JH, Albrecht BA, Nenes A, Ahlm L, Chen YC, Coggon M, Craven JS, Flagan RC, Frossard AA, Jonsson H, Jung E, Lin JJ, Metcalf AR, Modini R, Mulmenstadt J, Roberts GC, Shingler T, Song S, Wang Z, Wonaschutz A.  2013.  Eastern Pacific emitted aerosol cloud experiment. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 94:709-+.   10.1175/bams-d-12-00015.1   AbstractWebsite

Aerosol-cloud-radiation interactions are widely held to be the largest single source of uncertainty in climate model projections of future radiative forcing due to increasing anthropogenic emissions. The underlying causes of this uncertainty among modeled predictions of climate are the gaps in our fundamental understanding of cloud processes. There has been significant progress with both observations and models in addressing these important questions but quantifying them correctly is nontrivial, thus limiting our ability to represent them in global climate models. The Eastern Pacific Emitted Aerosol Cloud Experiment (E-PEACE) 2011 was a targeted aircraft campaign with embedded modeling studies, using the Center for Interdisciplinary Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Studies (CIRPAS) Twin Otter aircraft and the research vessel Point Sur in July and August 2011 off the central coast of California, with a full payload of instruments to measure particle and cloud number, mass, composition, and water uptake distributions. E-PEACE used three emitted particle sources to separate particle-induced feedbacks from dynamical variability, namely 1) shipboard smoke-generated particles with 0.05-1-mu m diameters (which produced tracks measured by satellite and had drop composition characteristic of organic smoke), 2) combustion particles from container ships with 0.05-0.2-mu m diameters (which were measured in a variety of conditions with droplets containing both organic and sulfate components), and 3) aircraft-based milled salt particles with 3-5-mu m diameters (which showed enhanced drizzle rates in some clouds). The aircraft observations were consistent with past large-eddy simulations of deeper clouds in ship tracks and aerosol cloud parcel modeling of cloud drop number and composition, providing quantitative constraints on aerosol effects on warm-cloud microphysics.

Siebert, H, Beals M, Bethke J, Bierwirth E, Conrath T, Dieckmann K, Ditas F, Ehrlich A, Farrell D, Hartmann S, Izaguirre MA, Katzwinkel J, Nuijens L, Roberts G, Schafer M, Shaw RA, Schmeissner T, Serikov I, Stevens B, Stratmann F, Wehner B, Wendisch M, Werner F, Wex H.  2013.  The fine-scale structure of the trade wind cumuli over Barbados - an introduction to the CARRIBA project. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 13:10061-10077.   10.5194/acp-13-10061-2013   AbstractWebsite

The CARRIBA (Cloud, Aerosol, Radiation and tuRbulence in the trade wInd regime over BArbados) project, focused on high resolution and collocated measurements of thermodynamic, turbulent, microphysical, and radiative properties of trade wind cumuli over Barbados, is introduced. The project is based on two one-month field campaigns in November 2010 (climatic wet season) and April 2011 (climatic dry season). Observations are based on helicopterborne and ground-based measurements in an area of 100 km(2) off the coast of Barbados. CARRIBA is accompanied by long-term observations at the Barbados Cloud Observatory located at the East coast of Barbados since early in 2010 and which provides a longer-term context for the CARRIBA measurements. The deployed instrumentation and sampling strategy are presented together with a classification of the meteorological conditions. The two campaigns were influenced by different air masses advected from the Caribbean area, the Atlantic Ocean, and the African continent which led to distinct aerosol conditions. Pristine conditions with low aerosol particle number concentrations of similar to 100 cm(3) were alternating with periods influenced by Saharan dust or aerosol from biomass burning resulting in comparably high number concentrations of similar to 500 cm(3). The biomass burning aerosol was originating from both the Caribbean area and Africa. The shallow cumulus clouds responded to the different aerosol conditions with a wide range of mean droplet sizes and number concentrations. Two days with different aerosol and cloud microphysical properties but almost identical meteorological conditions have been analyzed in detail. The differences in the droplet number concentration and droplet sizes appear not to show any significant change for turbulent cloud mixing, but the relative roles of droplet inertia and sedimentation in initiating coalescence, as well as the cloud reflectivity, do change substantially.