Articles | Volume 15, issue 18
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 10687–10700, 2015
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 10687–10700, 2015

Research article 25 Sep 2015

Research article | 25 Sep 2015

Strong aerosol–cloud interaction in altocumulus during updraft periods: lidar observations over central Europe

J. Schmidt, A. Ansmann, J. Bühl, and U. Wandinger J. Schmidt et al.
  • Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany

Abstract. For the first time, a liquid-water cloud study of the aerosol–cloud-dynamics relationship, solely based on lidar, was conducted. Twenty-nine cases of pure liquid-water altocumulus layers were observed with a novel dual-field-of-view Raman lidar over the polluted central European site of Leipzig, Germany, between September 2010 and September 2012. By means of the novel Raman lidar technique, cloud properties such as the droplet effective radius and cloud droplet number concentration (CDNC) in the lower part of altocumulus layers are obtained. The conventional aerosol Raman lidar technique provides the aerosol extinction coefficient (used as aerosol proxy) below cloud base. A collocated Doppler lidar measures the vertical velocity at cloud base and thus updraft and downdraft occurrence. Here, we present the key results of our statistical analysis of the 2010–2012 observations. Besides a clear aerosol effect on cloud droplet number concentration in the lower part of the altocumulus layers during updraft periods, turbulent mixing and entrainment of dry air is assumed to be the main reason for the found weak correlation between aerosol proxy and CDNC higher up in the cloud. The corresponding aerosol–cloud interaction parameter based on changes in cloud droplet number concentration with aerosol loading was found to be close to 0.8 at 30–70 m above cloud base during updraft periods and below 0.4 when ignoring vertical-wind information in the analysis. Our findings are extensively compared with literature values and agree well with airborne observations.

Final-revised paper