Articles | Volume 11, issue 1
Research article 11 Jan 2011
Research article | 11 Jan 2011
Global analysis of cloud field coverage and radiative properties, using morphological methods and MODIS observations
R. Z. Bar-Or et al.
Related subject area
Subject: Clouds and Precipitation | Research Activity: Remote Sensing | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Physics (physical properties and processes)3D radiative heating of tropical upper tropospheric cloud systems derived from synergistic A-Train observations and machine learningThe potential of increasing man-made air pollution to reduce rainfall over southern West AfricaThe dual-field-of-view polarization lidar technique: a new concept in monitoring aerosol effects in liquid-water clouds – theoretical frameworkThe dual-field-of-view polarization lidar technique: a new concept in monitoring aerosol effects in liquid-water clouds – case studiesConstraining the Twomey effect from satellite observations: issues and perspectivesMicrophysical properties of three types of snow clouds: implication for satellite snowfall retrievalsProperties of ice cloud over Beijing from surface Ka-band radar observations during 2014–2017Linkage among ice crystal microphysics, mesoscale dynamics, and cloud and precipitation structures revealed by collocated microwave radiometer and multifrequency radar observationsPossible mechanisms of summer cirrus clouds over the Tibetan PlateauMid-level clouds are frequent above the southeast Atlantic stratocumulus cloudsCharacterisation and surface radiative impact of Arctic low clouds from the IAOOS field experimentTowards the connection between snow microphysics and melting layer: insights from multifrequency and dual-polarization radar observations during BAECCA-Train estimates of the sensitivity of warm rain likelihood and efficiency to cloud size, environmental moisture, and aerosolsCloud phase characteristics over Southeast Asia from A-Train satellite observationsCloud regimes over the Amazon Basin: perspectives from the GoAmazon2014/5 campaignMicrophysics and dynamics of snowfall associated with a warm conveyor belt over KoreaLinking large-scale circulation patterns to low-cloud propertiesQuantifying cloud adjustments and the radiative forcing due to aerosol–cloud interactions in satellite observations of warm marine cloudsSmall-scale structure of thermodynamic phase in Arctic mixed-phase clouds observed by airborne remote sensing during a cold air outbreak and a warm air advection eventThe influence of water vapor anomalies on clouds and their radiative effect at Ny-ÅlesundVariability in cirrus cloud properties using a PollyXT Raman lidar over high and tropical latitudesDeconvolution of boundary layer depth and aerosol constraints on cloud water path in subtropical stratocumulus decksInvestigation of aerosol–cloud interactions under different absorptive aerosol regimes using Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) southern Great Plains (SGP) ground-based measurementsLow-level mixed-phase clouds in a complex Arctic environmentSynoptic-scale controls of fog and low-cloud variability in the Namib DesertA new classification of satellite-derived liquid water cloud regimes at cloud scaleThe day-to-day co-variability between mineral dust and cloud glaciation: a proxy for heterogeneous freezingRetrieval of the vertical evolution of the cloud effective radius from the Chinese FY-4 (Feng Yun 4) next-generation geostationary satellitesThe role of spring dry zonal advection in summer drought onset over the US Great PlainsDiurnal variation of high-level clouds from the synergy of AIRS and IASI space-borne infrared soundersAnalysis and quantification of ENSO-linked changes in the tropical Atlantic cloud vertical distribution using 14 years of MODIS observationsIce injected into the tropopause by deep convection – Part 2: Over the Maritime ContinentVariability in vertical structure of precipitation with sea surface temperature over the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal as inferred by Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission precipitation radar measurementsSpatial and temporal variability of snowfall over Greenland from CloudSat observationsCloud responses to climate variability over the extratropical oceans as observed by MISR and MODISAntarctic clouds, supercooled liquid water and mixed phase, investigated with DARDAR: geographical and seasonal variationsIce injected into the tropopause by deep convection – Part 1: In the austral convective tropicsQuantifying variations in shortwave aerosol–cloud–radiation interactions using local meteorology and cloud state constraintsRapid ice aggregation process revealed through triple-wavelength Doppler spectrum radar analysisConstraining the aerosol influence on cloud liquid water pathNorthern Hemisphere contrail properties derived from Terra and Aqua MODIS data for 2006 and 2012Lidar measurements of thin laminations within Arctic cloudsSpatiotemporal dynamics of fog and low clouds in the Namib unveiled with ground- and space-based observationsStatistics on clouds and their relation to thermodynamic conditions at Ny-Ålesund using ground-based sensor synergyEvaluating models' response of tropical low clouds to SST forcings using CALIPSO observationsEvaluating solar radiation forecast uncertaintyCloud feedbacks in extratropical cyclones: insight from long-term satellite data and high-resolution global simulationsA 17 year climatology of the macrophysical properties of convection in DarwinComparing ERA-Interim clouds with satellite observations using a simplified satellite simulatorCALIPSO (IIR–CALIOP) retrievals of cirrus cloud ice-particle concentrations
Claudia J. Stubenrauch, Giacomo Caria, Sofia E. Protopapadaki, and Friederike Hemmer
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 1015–1034,Short summary
Tropical anvils formed by convective outflow play a crucial role in modulating the Earth’s energy budget and heat transport. To explore the relation between these anvils and convection, we built 3D radiative heating fields, based on machine learning employed on cloud and atmospheric properties from IR sounder and meteorological reanalyses, trained on lidar–radar retrievals. The 15-year time series reveals colder convective systems during warm periods, affecting the atmospheric heating structure.
Gregor Pante, Peter Knippertz, Andreas H. Fink, and Anke Kniffka
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 35–55,Short summary
Seasonal rainfall amounts along the densely populated West African Guinea coast have been decreasing during the past 35 years, with recently accelerating trends. We find strong indications that this is in part related to increasing human air pollution in the region. Given the fast increase in emissions, the political implications of this work are significant. Reducing air pollution locally and regionally would mitigate an imminent health crisis and socio-economic damage from reduced rainfall.
Cristofer Jimenez, Albert Ansmann, Ronny Engelmann, David Donovan, Aleksey Malinka, Jörg Schmidt, Patric Seifert, and Ulla Wandinger
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 15247–15263,Short summary
A novel lidar method to study cloud microphysical properties (of liquid water clouds) and to study aerosol–cloud interaction (ACI) is developed and presented in this paper. In Part 1, the theoretical framework including an error analysis is given together with an overview of the aerosol information that the same lidar system can obtain. The ACI concept based on aerosol and cloud information is also explained. Applications of the proposed approach to lidar measurements are presented in Part 2.
Cristofer Jimenez, Albert Ansmann, Ronny Engelmann, David Donovan, Aleksey Malinka, Patric Seifert, Robert Wiesen, Martin Radenz, Zhenping Yin, Johannes Bühl, Jörg Schmidt, Boris Barja, and Ulla Wandinger
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 15265–15284,Short summary
Part 2 presents the application of the dual-FOV polarization lidar technique introduced in Part 1. A lidar system was upgraded with a second polarization telescope, and it was deployed at the southernmost tip of South America. A comparison with alternative remote sensing techniques and the evaluation of the aerosol–cloud–wind relation in a convective boundary layer in pristine marine conditions are presented in two case studies, demonstrating the potential of the approach for ACI studies.
Johannes Quaas, Antti Arola, Brian Cairns, Matthew Christensen, Hartwig Deneke, Annica M. L. Ekman, Graham Feingold, Ann Fridlind, Edward Gryspeerdt, Otto Hasekamp, Zhanqing Li, Antti Lipponen, Po-Lun Ma, Johannes Mülmenstädt, Athanasios Nenes, Joyce E. Penner, Daniel Rosenfeld, Roland Schrödner, Kenneth Sinclair, Odran Sourdeval, Philip Stier, Matthias Tesche, Bastiaan van Diedenhoven, and Manfred Wendisch
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 15079–15099,Short summary
Anthropogenic pollution particles – aerosols – serve as cloud condensation nuclei and thus increase cloud droplet concentration and the clouds' reflection of sunlight (a cooling effect on climate). This Twomey effect is poorly constrained by models and requires satellite data for better quantification. The review summarizes the challenges in properly doing so and outlines avenues for progress towards a better use of aerosol retrievals and better retrievals of droplet concentrations.
Hwayoung Jeoung, Guosheng Liu, Kwonil Kim, Gyuwon Lee, and Eun-Kyoung Seo
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 14491–14507,Short summary
Radar and radiometer observations were used to study cloud liquid and snowfall in three types of snow clouds. While near-surface and shallow clouds have an area fraction of 90 %, deep clouds contribute half of the total snowfall volume. Deeper clouds have heavier snowfall, although cloud liquid is equally abundant in all three cloud types. The skills of a GMI Bayesian algorithm are examined. Snowfall in deep clouds may be reasonably retrieved, but it is challenging for near-surface clouds.
Juan Huo, Yufang Tian, Xue Wu, Congzheng Han, Bo Liu, Yongheng Bi, Shu Duan, and Daren Lyu
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 14377–14392,Short summary
A detailed analysis of ice cloud physical properties is presented based on 4 years of surface Ka-band radar measurements in Beijing, where the summer oceanic monsoon from the ocean and winter continental monsoon prevail alternately. More than 6000 ice cloud clusters were studied to investigate their physical properties, such as height, horizontal extent, temperature dependence and origination type, which can serve as a reference for parameterization and characterization in global climate models.
Jie Gong, Xiping Zeng, Dong L. Wu, S. Joseph Munchak, Xiaowen Li, Stefan Kneifel, Davide Ori, Liang Liao, and Donifan Barahona
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 12633–12653,Short summary
This work provides a novel way of using polarized passive microwave measurements to study the interlinked cloud–convection–precipitation processes. The magnitude of differences between polarized radiances is found linked to ice microphysics (shape, size, orientation and density), mesoscale dynamic and thermodynamic structures, and surface precipitation. We conclude that passive sensors with multiple polarized channel pairs may serve as cheaper and useful substitutes for spaceborne radar sensors.
Feng Zhang, Qiu-Run Yu, Jia-Li Mao, Chen Dan, Yanyu Wang, Qianshan He, Tiantao Cheng, Chunhong Chen, Dongwei Liu, and Yanping Gao
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 11799–11808,Short summary
In this work, we make the three main contributions. (1) We reveal the remarkable differences in the geographical distributions of cirrus over the Tibetan Plateau regarding the cloud top height. (2) The orography, gravity wave, and deep convection determine the formation of cirrus with a cloud top below 9, at 9–12, and above 12 km, respectively. (3) It is the first time the contributions of the Tibetan Plateau to the presence of cirrus on a regional scale are discussed.
Adeyemi A. Adebiyi, Paquita Zuidema, Ian Chang, Sharon P. Burton, and Brian Cairns
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 11025–11043,Short summary
Over the southeast Atlantic, interactions between the low-level clouds and the overlying smoke aerosols have previously been highlighted, but no study has yet focused on the presence of the mid-level clouds that complicate the aerosol–cloud interactions. Here we show that these optically thin super-cooled mid-level clouds are relatively common, and they frequently occur at the top of the smoke layer between August and October with significant radiative impacts on the low-level clouds.
Julia Maillard, François Ravetta, Jean-Christophe Raut, Vincent Mariage, and Jacques Pelon
Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for ACPShort summary
Clouds remain a major source of uncertainty in understanding the Arctic climate, due in part to the lack of measurements over the sea ice. In this paper, we exploit a series of lidar profiles acquired from autonomous drifting buoys deployed in the Arctic Ocean and derive a statistic of low cloud frequency and macrophysical properties. We also show that louds contribute to warm the surface in the shoulder seasons but not significantly from May to September.
Haoran Li, Jussi Tiira, Annakaisa von Lerber, and Dmitri Moisseev
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 9547–9562,Short summary
A method for classifying rimed and unrimed snow based on X- and Ka-band Doppler radar measurements is developed and applied to synergetic radar observations collected during BAECC 2014. The results show that the radar-observed melting layer properties are highly related to the precipitation intensity. The previously reported bright band sagging is mainly connected to the increase in precipitation intensity, while riming plays a secondary role.
Kevin M. Smalley and Anita D. Rapp
Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for ACPShort summary
Understanding factors influencing warm rain efficiency (WRE) are needed to improve simulation of low clouds in climate models. We use Satellite observations of shallow cumulus to investigate the influence of cloud size on WRE in different environments. For a fixed temperature and relative humidity, WRE increases with cloud size, but it varies little with aerosols. Results imply that increasing WRE with rising temperature not only relate to deeper clouds, but also to more frequent larger clouds.
Yulan Hong and Larry Di Girolamo
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 8267–8291,Short summary
Cloud phase plays a crucial role in Earth radiation budget but is not well understood. Using A-Train satellite observations, this study provides climatological studies of cloud phase characteristics over Southeast Asia on multiple meteorological scales. Results show that ice, liquid, and ice over liquid clouds display distinct spatial heterogeneity and spectral radiance features. The intraseasonal and interannual behaviors of cloud phases are useful to track the MJO and ENSO.
Scott E. Giangrande, Dié Wang, and David B. Mechem
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 7489–7507,Short summary
The Amazon basin experiences prolific and diverse cloud conditions that are strongly influenced by (and influence via feedbacks) seasonal shifts in the local conditions and larger-scale atmospheric circulations. The primary atmospheric regimes observed during a heavily instrumented 2-year Amazon deployment are classified. We assess the potential atmospheric controls on convective clouds, precipitation, and the propensity for these regimes to promote extremes in precipitation.
Josué Gehring, Annika Oertel, Étienne Vignon, Nicolas Jullien, Nikola Besic, and Alexis Berne
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 7373–7392,Short summary
In this study, we analyse how large-scale meteorological conditions influenced the local enhancement of snowfall during an intense precipitation event in Korea. We used atmospheric models, weather radars and snowflake images. We found out that a rising airstream in the warm sector of the low pressure system associated to this event influenced the evolution of snowfall. This study highlights the importance of interactions between large and local scales in this intense precipitation event.
Timothy W. Juliano and Zachary J. Lebo
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 7125–7138,Short summary
In this study, we use a machine learning method to examine the relationship between synoptic-scale changes in the North Pacific High structure and maritime cloud properties. Our novel approach suggests that there is a wide range (>30 W m−2, ~20 % of magnitude) of possible shortwave cloud radiative effect that is a clear function of the circulation pattern. We hope that this work will help improve fundamental understanding of the sensitivity of the climate system to various warm-cloud regimes.
Alyson Douglas and Tristan L'Ecuyer
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 6225–6241,Short summary
Aerosols, or small, suspended droplets in the atmosphere, are released from anthropogenic activity and interact with warm clouds, leading to changes in the clouds' brightness and size. Our study evaluates how aerosols alter warm clouds and their ability to cool the Earth's surface. We find aerosols make clouds brighter and grow larger in the atmosphere; however, the cooling effect due to whiter, brighter clouds is 5 times the cooling due to an increased extent.
Elena Ruiz-Donoso, André Ehrlich, Michael Schäfer, Evelyn Jäkel, Vera Schemann, Susanne Crewell, Mario Mech, Birte Solveig Kulla, Leif-Leonard Kliesch, Roland Neuber, and Manfred Wendisch
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 5487–5511,Short summary
Mixed-phase clouds, formed of water droplets and ice crystals, appear frequently in Arctic regions. Characterizing the distribution of liquid water and ice inside the cloud appropriately is important because it influences the cloud's impact on the surface temperature. In this study, we combined images of the cloud top with measurements inside the cloud to analyze in detail the 3D spatial distribution of liquid and ice in two mixed-phase clouds occurring under different meteorological scenarios.
Tatiana Nomokonova, Kerstin Ebell, Ulrich Löhnert, Marion Maturilli, and Christoph Ritter
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 5157–5173,Short summary
This paper presents an influence of water vapor anomalies on cloud properties and their radiative effect at Ny-Ålesund. The study is based on a 2.5-year active and passive cloud observation and a radiative transfer model. The results show that moist and dry conditions are related to strong changes in cloud occurrence, phase partitioning, water path, and, consequently, modulate the surface radiative budget.
Kalliopi Artemis Voudouri, Elina Giannakaki, Mika Komppula, and Dimitris Balis
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 4427–4444,Short summary
In this paper we present the variability in cirrus cloud properties using a PollyXT Raman lidar over high and tropical latitudes. The kind of information presented here can be rather useful in the cirrus parameterisations required as input to radiative transfer models and can be a complementary tool for satellite products that cannot provide cloud vertical structure.
Anna Possner, Ryan Eastman, Frida Bender, and Franziska Glassmeier
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 3609–3621,Short summary
Cloud water content and the number of droplets inside clouds covary with boundary layer depth. This covariation may amplify the change in water content due to a change in droplet number inferred from long-term observations. Taking this into account shows that the change in water content for increased droplet number in observations and high-resolution simulations agrees in shallow boundary layers. Meanwhile, deep boundary layers are under-sampled in process-scale simulations and observations.
Xiaojian Zheng, Baike Xi, Xiquan Dong, Timothy Logan, Yuan Wang, and Peng Wu
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 3483–3501,Short summary
The continental low-level stratiform cloud susceptibilities to aerosols were investigated under different absorptive aerosol regimes. The weakly absorbing aerosols, which are more hygroscopic, can better activate as cloud condensation nuclei. The favorable thermodynamic condition enhances the cloud susceptibility, while the cloud-layer heating effect induced by strongly absorbing aerosols dampens the cloud susceptibility. Overall, the clouds are more susceptible to the weakly absorbing aerosols.
Rosa Gierens, Stefan Kneifel, Matthew D. Shupe, Kerstin Ebell, Marion Maturilli, and Ulrich Löhnert
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 3459–3481,Short summary
Multiyear statistics of persistent low-level mixed-phase clouds observed at an Arctic fjord environment in Svalbard are presented. The effects the local boundary layer (i.e. the fjords' wind climate and surface coupling), regional wind direction, and seasonality have on the cloud occurrence and properties are evaluated using a synergy of ground-based remote sensing methods and auxiliary data. The phenomena considered were found to modify the amount of liquid and ice in the studied clouds.
Hendrik Andersen, Jan Cermak, Julia Fuchs, Peter Knippertz, Marco Gaetani, Julian Quinting, Sebastian Sippel, and Roland Vogt
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 3415–3438,Short summary
Fog and low clouds (FLCs) are an essential but poorly understood element of Namib regional climate. Here, a satellite-based data set of FLCs in central Namib, reanalysis data, and back trajectories are used to systematically analyze conditions when FLCs occur. Synoptic-scale mechanisms are identified that influence the formation of FLCs and the onshore advection of marine boundary-layer air masses. The findings lead to a new conceptual model of mechanisms that drive FLC variability in the Namib.
Claudia Unglaub, Karoline Block, Johannes Mülmenstädt, Odran Sourdeval, and Johannes Quaas
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 2407–2418,Short summary
In cloud research, it is necessary to classify clouds. The World Meteorological Organization proposes distinguishing stratiform and cumuliform clouds in three altitude layers. The paper explains why previous approaches to classify clouds fail for many applications and proposes a new classification on the basis of new approaches for satellite retrievals to derive cloud-base height, in combination with cloud inhomogeneity. It is demonstrated that this discriminates cloud characteristics well.
Diego Villanueva, Bernd Heinold, Patric Seifert, Hartwig Deneke, Martin Radenz, and Ina Tegen
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 2177–2199,Short summary
Spaceborne retrievals of cloud phase were analysed together with an atmospheric composition model to assess the global frequency of ice and liquid clouds. This analysis showed that at equal temperature the average occurrence of ice clouds increases for higher dust mixing ratios on a day-to-day basis in the middle and high latitudes. This indicates that mineral dust may have a strong impact on the occurrence of ice clouds even in remote areas.
Yilun Chen, Guangcan Chen, Chunguang Cui, Aoqi Zhang, Rong Wan, Shengnan Zhou, Dongyong Wang, and Yunfei Fu
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 1131–1145,Short summary
The vertical evolution of the cloud effective radius reflects the precipitation-forming process. We developed an algorithm for retrieving it based on objective cloud-cluster identification rather than the subjective polygon of the conventional method. The profile shows completely different morphologies in different life stages of the cloud cluster, which is important in the characterization of the formation of precipitation and the temporal evolution of microphysical processes.
Amir Erfanian and Rong Fu
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 15199–15216,Short summary
An eastward advection of dry and warm air in spring was identified as a major drought onset mechanism over the US Great Plains (GP). Further breakdown of the zonal advection into the dynamic versus thermodynamic contributions revealed dominance of the latter in the tropospheric drying observed during the onset of GP 2011 and 2012 droughts. The dependence of thermodynamic advection on moisture gradient links the spring precipitation in the Rockies and US southwest to the GP summer precipitation.
Artem G. Feofilov and Claudia J. Stubenrauch
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 13957–13972,Short summary
Clouds play an important role in the energy budget of the planet: optically thick clouds reflect the incoming solar radiation leading to cooling of the Earth, while thinner clouds act as
greenhouse filmspreventing escape of the Earth’s infrared radiation to space. Satellite observations provide a continuous survey of clouds over the whole globe. In this work, we use a combination of two space-borne sounders to retrieve and analyse the characteristics of diurnal variation of high-level clouds.
Nils Madenach, Cintia Carbajal Henken, René Preusker, Odran Sourdeval, and Jürgen Fischer
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 13535–13546,
Iris-Amata Dion, Cyrille Dallet, Philippe Ricaud, Fabien Carminati, Peter Haynes, and Thibaut Dauhut
Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for ACPShort summary
Ice at the tropopause have got radiative effect impacting climate. The amount of ice injected (∆IWC) up to the tropical tropopause layer has been shown to be the highest over the Maritime Continent (MC) a region containing Indonesia. ∆IWC is studied over island and sea of MC. Space-borne observations of ice, precipitation and flash are used to estimate ∆IWC that is compared to ∆IWC estimated from the ERA5 reanalyses. It is shown that the Java Island is the area of the greatest ∆IWC over the MC.
Kadiri Saikranthi, Basivi Radhakrishna, Thota Narayana Rao, and Sreedharan Krishnakumari Satheesh
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 10423–10432,Short summary
Recent studies have shown that simulation of monsoons can be improved with an exact representation of SST–precipitation relationship. The vertical structure of precipitation with SST is distinctly different over the Arabian Sea than over the Bay of Bengal. The reflectivity profiles show variation with SST over the Arabian Sea and do not show considerable variation with SST over the Bay of Bengal. The variations in reflectivity profiles seem to originate at the cloud formation stage itself.
Ralf Bennartz, Frank Fell, Claire Pettersen, Matthew D. Shupe, and Dirk Schuettemeyer
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 8101–8121,Short summary
The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) is rapidly melting. Snowfall is the only source of ice mass over the GrIS. We use satellite observations to assess how much snow on average falls over the GrIS and what the annual cycle and spatial distribution of snowfall is. We find the annual mean snowfall over the GrIS inferred from CloudSat to be 34 ± 7.5 cm yr−1 liquid equivalent.
Andrew Geiss and Roger Marchand
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 7547–7565,Short summary
The 13-year trends in cloud occurrence, observed by NASA's Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer, over the world's extratropical ocean basins are compared to trends in meteorological variables. We identify several patterns of changing cloud occurrence that correspond to specific patterns in trending meteorology. We find that many of these trends are related to changes in major modes of climate variability.
Constantino Listowski, Julien Delanoë, Amélie Kirchgaessner, Tom Lachlan-Cope, and John King
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 6771–6808,Short summary
Using satellite cloud products we investigate the supercooled liquid-water (SLW) distribution Antarctic-wide for the first time. We demonstrate differences between the monthly evolution of the marine low-level mixed-phase clouds and that of the marine low-level pure SLW clouds. In addition to the temperature and sea ice fraction as factors explaining the low-level liquid-cloud seasonal cycle, ice nuclei emissions from open water may also be driving the mixed-phase cloud monthly evolution.
Iris-Amata Dion, Philippe Ricaud, Peter Haynes, Fabien Carminati, and Thibaut Dauhut
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 6459–6479,Short summary
Water vapour and ice cirrus clouds near the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) have a strong radiative impact on climate. Based on space-borne observations, we have developed a model linking ice in the upper troposphere from the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) to precipitation in the troposphere from the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM). Our study quantifies the amount of ice injected into the TTL by deep convection over tropical lands and oceans by investigating the diurnal cycle of ice.
Alyson Douglas and Tristan L'Ecuyer
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 6251–6268,Short summary
Aerosols are released by natural and human activities. When aerosols encounter clouds they interact in what is known as the indirect effect. Brighter clouds are expected due to the microphysical response; however, certain environments can trigger a modified response. Limits on the stability, humidity, and cloud thickness are applied regionally to investigate local cloud responses to aerosol, resulting in a range of indirect effects that would result in significant cooling or slight warming.
Andrew I. Barrett, Christopher D. Westbrook, John C. Nicol, and Thorwald H. M. Stein
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 5753–5769,Short summary
We use radars at three wavelengths to study cloud properties. The full Doppler spectra (rather than calculated averages of the spectra) are compared for the radars. This allows us to estimate the size and number of ice particles within the cloud. By following the evolution of the ice particles, we observe a region where particles rapidly and consistently increase in size. The observations suggest that these large particles form through interlocking of branched arms of smaller ice particles.
Edward Gryspeerdt, Tom Goren, Odran Sourdeval, Johannes Quaas, Johannes Mülmenstädt, Sudhakar Dipu, Claudia Unglaub, Andrew Gettelman, and Matthew Christensen
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 5331–5347,Short summary
The liquid water path (LWP) is the strongest control on cloud albedo, such that a small change in LWP can have a large radiative impact. By changing the droplet number concentration (Nd) aerosols may be able to change the LWP, but the sign and magnitude of the effect is unclear. This work uses satellite data to investigate the relationship between Nd and LWP at a global scale and in response to large aerosol perturbations, suggesting that a strong decrease in LWP at high Nd may be overestimated.
David P. Duda, Sarah T. Bedka, Patrick Minnis, Douglas Spangenberg, Konstantin Khlopenkov, Thad Chee, and William L. Smith Jr.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 5313–5330,Short summary
We use one year (2012) of satellite imagery obtained from two NASA research satellites, Terra and Aqua, to detect linear contrail coverage and to estimate their physical properties over the Northern Hemisphere. The satellite-derived properties are compared with results collected from the same sensors in 2006 to estimate whether the impact of contrail coverage on climate has changed. The study is the first of its kind to measure contrail properties over a near-global scale from satellite imagery.
Emily M. McCullough, James R. Drummond, and Thomas J. Duck
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 4595–4614,Short summary
Very thin (<10 m) laminations within Arctic clouds have been observed in all seasons using the Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC) Rayleigh–Mie–Raman lidar (CRL) at the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL; Eureka, Nunavut, Canadian High Arctic). The laminations can last longer than 24 h and are often associated with precipitation and atmospheric stability. This has implications for our understanding of cloud internal structure and processes.
Hendrik Andersen, Jan Cermak, Irina Solodovnik, Luca Lelli, and Roland Vogt
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 4383–4392,Short summary
Fog and low clouds (FLCs) are an essential but poorly understood component of Namib-region climate. This study uses observations from multiple satellite platforms and ground-based measurements to coherently characterize Namib-region FLC patterns. Findings concerning the seasonal cycle of the vertical structure and the diurnal cycle of FLCs lead to a new conceptual model of the spatiotemporal dynamics of FLCs in the Namib and help to improve the understanding of underlying processes.
Tatiana Nomokonova, Kerstin Ebell, Ulrich Löhnert, Marion Maturilli, Christoph Ritter, and Ewan O'Connor
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 4105–4126,Short summary
In this study, properties of clouds at the French–German Arctic research station in Ny-Ålesund are related to in-cloud thermodynamic conditions. The dataset used was collected within the Arctic Amplification project with a set of active and passive remote instruments. The results are compared with a model output. Significant divergence in observations and modelling of single-layer ice and mixed-phase clouds was found.
Grégory Cesana, Anthony D. Del Genio, Andrew S. Ackerman, Maxwell Kelley, Gregory Elsaesser, Ann M. Fridlind, Ye Cheng, and Mao-Sung Yao
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 2813–2832,Short summary
The response of low clouds to climate change (i.e., cloud feedbacks) is still pointed out as being the largest source of uncertainty in climate models. Here we use CALIPSO observations to discriminate climate models that reproduce observed interannual change of cloud fraction with SST forcings, referred to as a present-day cloud feedback. Modeling moist processes in the planetary boundary layer is crucial to produce large stratocumulus decks and realistic present-day cloud feedbacks.
Minttu Tuononen, Ewan J. O'Connor, and Victoria A. Sinclair
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 1985–2000,Short summary
Many applications require accurate forecasts of the amount of solar radiation reaching the surface, such as solar energy and UV radiation forecasts. This also means that cloud must be correctly forecast. We investigated the skill of these forecasts over Helsinki, Finland, using cloud and solar radiation observations. We found that there were errors in the model radiation forecast even when the clouds were correctly forecast, which we attribute to incorrect representation of the cloud properties.
Daniel T. McCoy, Paul R. Field, Gregory S. Elsaesser, Alejandro Bodas-Salcedo, Brian H. Kahn, Mark D. Zelinka, Chihiro Kodama, Thorsten Mauritsen, Benoit Vanniere, Malcolm Roberts, Pier L. Vidale, David Saint-Martin, Aurore Voldoire, Rein Haarsma, Adrian Hill, Ben Shipway, and Jonathan Wilkinson
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 1147–1172,Short summary
The largest single source of uncertainty in the climate sensitivity predicted by global climate models is how much low-altitude clouds change as the climate warms. Models predict that the amount of liquid within and the brightness of low-altitude clouds increase in the extratropics with warming. We show that increased fluxes of moisture into extratropical storms in the midlatitudes explain the majority of the observed trend and the modeled increase in liquid water within these storms.
Robert C. Jackson, Scott M. Collis, Valentin Louf, Alain Protat, and Leon Majewski
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 17687–17704,Short summary
This paper looks at a 17 year database of echo top heights of thunderstorms in Darwin retrieved by CPOL. We find that the echo top heights are generally bimodal, corresponding to cumulus congestus and deep convection, and show a greater bimodality during an inactive MJO. Furthermore, we find that convective cell areas are larger in break conditions compared to monsoon conditions, but only during MJO-inactive conditions.
Martin Stengel, Cornelia Schlundt, Stefan Stapelberg, Oliver Sus, Salomon Eliasson, Ulrika Willén, and Jan Fokke Meirink
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 17601–17614,Short summary
We present a new approach to evaluate ERA-Interim reanalysis clouds using satellite observations. A simplified satellite simulator was developed that uses reanalysis fields to emulate clouds as they would have been seen by those satellite sensors which were used to compose Cloud_cci observational cloud datasets. Our study facilitates an adequate evaluation of modelled ERA-Interim clouds using observational datasets, also taking into account systematic uncertainties in the observations.
David L. Mitchell, Anne Garnier, Jacques Pelon, and Ehsan Erfani
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 17325–17354,Short summary
To realistically model a changing climate, global measurements of cirrus cloud ice-particle number concentration (N) and size (De) are needed, through which one may infer the general mechanism of ice formation. A satellite remote sensing method was developed to measure N and De. It was found that N was highest and De lowest at high latitudes. In the Arctic, cirrus clouds occurred much more often during winter, which may have an impact on mid-latitude winter weather.
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