Articles | Volume 16, issue 10
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 6091–6105, 2016
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 6091–6105, 2016

Research article 19 May 2016

Research article | 19 May 2016

Changes in the shape of cloud ice water content vertical structure due to aerosol variations

Steven T. Massie1,3, Julien Delanoë2, Charles G. Bardeen3, Jonathan H. Jiang4, and Lei Huang4 Steven T. Massie et al.
  • 1Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 2LATMOS/IPSL/UVSQ/CNRS, Guyancourt, France
  • 3National Center for Atmospheric Research, Atmospheric Chemistry and Modeling, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 4Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA

Abstract. Changes in the shape of cloud ice water content (IWC) vertical structure due to variations in Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aerosol optical depths (AODs), Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) absorptive aerosol optical depths (AAODs), and Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) CO (an absorptive aerosol proxy) at 215 hPa are calculated in the Tropics during 2007–2010 based upon an analysis of DARDAR IWC profiles for deep convective clouds. DARDAR profiles are a joint retrieval of CloudSat-CALIPSO data. Analysis is performed for 12 separate regions over land and ocean, and carried out applying MODIS AOD fields that attempt to correct for 3-D cloud adjacency effects. The 3-D cloud adjacency effects have a small impact upon our particular calculations of aerosol–cloud indirect effects. IWC profiles are averaged for three AOD bins individually for the 12 regions. The IWC average profiles are also normalized to unity at 5 km altitude in order to study changes in the shape of the average IWC profiles as AOD increases. Derivatives of the IWC average profiles, and derivatives of the IWC shape profiles, in percent change per 0.1 change in MODIS AOD units, are calculated separately for each region. Means of altitude-specific probability distribution functions, which include both ocean and land IWC shape regional derivatives, are modest, near 5 %, and positive to the 2σ level between 11 and 15 km altitude. Similar analyses are carried out for three AAOD and three CO bins. On average, the vertical profiles of the means of the derivatives based upon the profile shapes over land and ocean are smaller for the profiles binned according to AAOD and CO values, than for the MODIS AODs, which include both scattering and absorptive aerosol. This difference in character supports the assertion that absorptive aerosol can inhibit cloud development.

Short summary
Changes in cloud vertical structure (i.e. the shape of cloud ice water content (IWC) vertical structure) due to variations in aerosol, observed by three different satellite experiments (MODIS, OMI, and MLS) are calculated in the Tropics during 2007–2010. This topic is of interest because aerosol-cloud interactions are the largest source of uncertainty in climate models. Analysis of the effects of MODIS aerosol, OMI absorptive aerosol, and MLS CO (an absorptive aerosol proxy) upon deep convective
Final-revised paper