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Sanchez, KJ, Russell LM, Modini RL, Frossard AA, Ahlm L, Corrigan CE, Roberts GC, Hawkins LN, Schroder JC, Bertram AK, Zhao R, Lee AKY, Lin JJ, Nenes A, Wang Z, Wonaschutz A, Sorooshian A, Noone KJ, Jonsson H, Toom D, Macdonald AM, Leaitch WR, Seinfeld JH.  2016.  Meteorological and aerosol effects on marine cloud microphysical properties. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 121:4142-4161.   10.1002/2015jd024595   AbstractWebsite

Meteorology and microphysics affect cloud formation, cloud droplet distributions, and shortwave reflectance. The Eastern Pacific Emitted Aerosol Cloud Experiment and the Stratocumulus Observations of Los-Angeles Emissions Derived Aerosol-Droplets studies provided measurements in six case studies of cloud thermodynamic properties, initial particle number distribution and composition, and cloud drop distribution. In this study, we use simulations from a chemical and microphysical aerosol-cloud parcel (ACP) model with explicit kinetic drop activation to reproduce observed cloud droplet distributions of the case studies. Four cases had subadiabatic lapse rates, resulting in fewer activated droplets, lower liquid water content, and higher cloud base height than an adiabatic lapse rate. A weighted ensemble of simulations that reflect measured variation in updraft velocity and cloud base height was used to reproduce observed droplet distributions. Simulations show that organic hygroscopicity in internally mixed cases causes small effects on cloud reflectivity (CR) (<0.01), except for cargo ship and smoke plumes, which increased CR by 0.02 and 0.07, respectively, owing to their high organic mass fraction. Organic hygroscopicity had larger effects on droplet concentrations for cases with higher aerosol concentrations near the critical diameter (namely, polluted cases with a modal peak near 0.1 mu m). Differences in simulated droplet spectral widths (k) caused larger differences in CR than organic hygroscopicity in cases with organic mass fractions of 60% or less for the cases shown. Finally, simulations from a numerical parameterization of cloud droplet activation suitable for general circulation models compared well with the ACP model, except under high organic mass fraction.

Modini, RL, Frossard AA, Ahlm L, Russell LM, Corrigan CE, Roberts GC, Hawkins LN, Schroder JC, Bertram AK, Zhao R, Lee AKY, Abbatt JPD, Lin J, Nenes A, Wang Z, Wonaschutz A, Sorooshian A, Noone KJ, Jonsson H, Seinfeld JH, Toom-Sauntry D, Macdonald AM, Leaitch WR.  2015.  Primary marine aerosol-cloud interactions off the coast of California. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. 120:4282-4303.   10.1002/2014jd022963   AbstractWebsite

Primary marine aerosol (PMA)-cloud interactions off the coast of California were investigated using observations of marine aerosol, cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), and stratocumulus clouds during the Eastern Pacific Emitted Aerosol Cloud Experiment (E-PEACE) and the Stratocumulus Observations of Los-Angeles Emissions Derived Aerosol-Droplets (SOLEDAD) studies. Based on recently reported measurements of PMA size distributions, a constrained lognormal-mode-fitting procedure was devised to isolate PMA number size distributions from total aerosol size distributions and applied to E-PEACE measurements. During the 12 day E-PEACE cruise on the R/V Point Sur, PMA typically contributed less than 15% of total particle concentrations. PMA number concentrations averaged 12 cm(-3) during a relatively calmer period (average wind speed 12m/s(1)) lasting 8 days, and 71cm(-3) during a period of higher wind speeds (average 16m/s(1)) lasting 5 days. On average, PMA contributed less than 10% of total CCN at supersaturations up to 0.9% during the calmer period; however, during the higher wind speed period, PMA comprised 5-63% of CCN (average 16-28%) at supersaturations less than 0.3%. Sea salt was measured directly in the dried residuals of cloud droplets during the SOLEDAD study. The mass fractions of sea salt in the residuals averaged 12 to 24% during three cloud events. Comparing the marine stratocumulus clouds sampled in the two campaigns, measured peak supersaturations were 0.20.04% during E-PEACE and 0.05-0.1% during SOLEDAD. The available measurements show that cloud droplet number concentrations increased with >100 nm particles in E-PEACE but decreased in the three SOLEDAD cloud events.

Roberts, GC, Ramana MV, Corrigan C, Kim D, Ramanathan V.  2008.  Simultaneous observations of aerosol-cloud-albedo interactions with three stacked unmanned aerial vehicles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 105:7370-7375.   10.1073/pnas.0710308105   AbstractWebsite

Aerosol impacts on climate change are still poorly understood, in part, because the few observations and methods for detecting their effects are not well established. For the first time, the enhancement in cloud albedo is directly measured on a cloud-by-cloud basis and linked to increasing aerosol concentrations by using multiple autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles to simultaneously observe the cloud microphysics, vertical aerosol distribution, and associated solar radiative fluxes. In the presence of long-range transport of dust and anthropogenic pollution, the trade cumuli have higher droplet concentrations and are on average brighter. Our observations suggest a higher sensitivity of radiative forcing by trade cumuli to increases in cloud droplet concentrations. than previously reported owing to a constrained droplet radius such that increases in droplet concentrations also increase cloud liquid water content. This aerosol-cloud forcing efficiency is as much as -60 W m(-2) per 100% percent cloud fraction for a doubling of droplet concentrations and associated increase of liquid water content. Finally, we develop a strategy for detecting aerosol-cloud interactions based on a nondimensional scaling analysis that relates the contribution of single clouds to albedo measurements and illustrates the significance of characterizing cloud morphology in resolving radiometric measurements. This study demonstrates that aerosol-cloud-albedo interactions can be directly observed by simultaneous observations below, in, and above the clouds.

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%.