Articles | Volume 17, issue 19
Research article 10 Oct 2017
Research article | 10 Oct 2017
Using snowflake surface-area-to-volume ratio to model and interpret snowfall triple-frequency radar signatures
Mathias Gergely et al.
No articles found.
Karlie N. Rees, Dhiraj K. Singh, Eric R. Pardyjak, and Timothy J. Garrett
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 14235–14250,Short summary
Accurate predictions of weather and climate require descriptions of the mass and density of snowflakes as a function of their size. Few measurements have been obtained to date because snowflakes are so small and fragile. This article describes results from a new instrument that automatically measures individual snowflake size, mass, and density. Key findings are that small snowflakes have much lower densities than is often assumed and that snowflake density increases with temperature.
Timothy J. Garrett, Matheus R. Grasselli, and Stephen Keen
Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss.,
Preprint under review for ESDShort summary
Current world economic production is rising relative to energy consumption. This increase in “production efficiency” suggests that carbon dioxide emissions can be decoupled from economic activity through technological change. We show instead a nearly fixed relationship between energy consumption and a new economic quantity, historically cumulative economic production. The strong link to the past implies inertia may play a more dominant role in societal evolution than is generally assumed.
Dhiraj K. Singh, Spencer Donovan, Eric R. Pardyjak, and Timothy J. Garrett
Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for AMTShort summary
This paper describes a new instrument for quantifying the physical characteristic of hydrometeors such as snow and rain. The device can measure the mass, size, density, and type of individual hydrometeors and their bulk properties. The instrument is called the Differential Emissivity Imaging Disdrometer or DEID and is composed of a thermal camera and hotplate. The DEID measures hydrometeors at sampling frequencies up to 1 Hz with masses and effective diameters greater than 1 μg and 200 μm.
Kyle E. Fitch, Chaoxun Hang, Ahmad Talaei, and Timothy J. Garrett
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 1127–1142,Short summary
Snow measurements are very sensitive to wind. Here, we compare airflow and snowfall simulations to Arctic observations for a Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera to show that measurements of fall speed, orientation, and size are accurate only with a double wind fence and winds below 5 m s−1. In this case, snowflakes tend to fall with a nearly horizontal orientation; the largest flakes are as much as 5 times more likely to be observed. Adjustments are needed for snow falling in naturally turbulent air.
Karlie Rees and Timothy J. Garrett
Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript under review for AMTShort summary
Monte Carlo simulations are used to establish baseline precipitation measurement uncertainties according to World Meteorological Organization standards. Measurement accuracy depends on instrument sampling area, time interval, and precipitation rate. Simulations are compared with field measurements taken by an emerging hotplate precipitation sensor. We find that the current collection area is sufficient for light rain, but a larger collection area is required to detect moderate to heavy rain.
Steven J. Cooper, Norman B. Wood, and Tristan S. L'Ecuyer
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 10, 2557–2571,Short summary
Estimates of snowfall rate as derived from radar observations can suffer large uncertainties due to great natural variability in snowflake microphysical properties. We used in situ observations of particle size, shape, and fall speed to refine radar-based estimates of snowfall for five snow events at the ARM Barrow Climate Research Facility. Estimated snowfall amounts agreed well with nearby snow gauge observations and demonstrated significant sensitivity to both particle shape and fall speed.
Quentin Coopman, Timothy J. Garrett, Jérôme Riedi, Sabine Eckhardt, and Andreas Stohl
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 4661–4674,Short summary
We analyze interactions of Arctic clouds with pollution plumes that have been transported long distances from midlatitudes. Constraining for meteorological state, we find that pollution decreases cloud-droplet effective radius and increases cloud optical depth. The impact is highest when the atmosphere is particularly humid and/or stable suggesting that aerosol–cloud interactions depend on the Arctic's climate.
M. S. Johnston, G. Holl, J. Hocking, S. J. Cooper, and D. Chen
Atmos. Meas. Tech. Discuss.,
T. J. Garrett
Earth Syst. Dynam., 6, 673–688,Short summary
GCMs and economic models are often coupled for climate scenarios. Here, what is examined is how well a simple non-equilibrium thermodynamic model can represent the multi-decadal growth of global civilization. Initialized with growth trends from the 1950s, the model attains high skill at hindcasting how fast the GDP and energy consumption grew during the 2000s. This opens treating the coupled economy and climate as a physically deterministic response to available flows of energy and matter.
T. J. Garrett and C. Zhao
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 6, 1227–1243,
B. van Diedenhoven, B. Cairns, A. M. Fridlind, A. S. Ackerman, and T. J. Garrett
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 13, 3185–3203,
Related subject area
Subject: Clouds and Precipitation | Research Activity: Remote Sensing | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Physics (physical properties and processes)Global evidence of aerosol-induced invigoration in marine cumulus cloudsImpacts of the Saharan air layer on the physical properties of the Atlantic tropical cyclone cloud systems: 2003–2019Two-year statistics of columnar-ice production in stratiform clouds over Hyytiälä, Finland: environmental conditions and the relevance to secondary ice productionChanges in cirrus cloud properties and occurrence over Europe during the COVID-19-caused air traffic reductionA new conceptual model for adiabatic fogDeciphering organization of GOES-16 green cumulus through the empirical orthogonal function (EOF) lensSatellite retrieval of cloud base height and geometric thickness of low-level cloud based on CALIPSOLightning occurrences and intensity over the Indian region: long-term trends and future projectionsContrasting ice formation in Arctic clouds: surface-coupled vs. surface-decoupled cloudsEvaluation of the CMIP6 marine subtropical stratocumulus cloud albedo and its controlling factorsIdentifying meteorological influences on marine low-cloud mesoscale morphology using satellite classificationsA climatology of trade-wind cumulus cold pools and their link to mesoscale cloud organizationLidar observations of cirrus clouds in Palau (7°33′ N, 134°48′ E)Overview: Fusion of Radar Polarimetry and Numerical Atmospheric Modelling Towards an Improved Understanding of Cloud and Precipitation ProcessesHemispheric contrasts in ice formation in stratiform mixed-phase clouds: Disentangling the role of aerosol and dynamics with ground-based remote sensingObserving the timescales of aerosol–cloud interactions in snapshot satellite imagesPotential impact of aerosols on convective clouds revealed by Himawari-8 observations over different terrain types in eastern ChinaHow frequent is natural cloud seeding from ice cloud layers ( < −35 °C) over Switzerland?Processes contributing to cloud dissipation and formation events on the North Slope of AlaskaCharacterisation and surface radiative impact of Arctic low clouds from the IAOOS field experimentA-Train estimates of the sensitivity of the cloud-to-rainwater ratio to cloud size, relative humidity, and aerosolsIce injected into the tropopause by deep convection – Part 2: Over the Maritime Continent3D 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 cloudsTowards the connection between snow microphysics and melting layer: insights from multifrequency and dual-polarization radar observations during BAECCCloud 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 sounders
Alyson Douglas and Tristan L'Ecuyer
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 15103–15114,Short summary
When aerosols enter the atmosphere, they interact with the clouds above in what we term aerosol–cloud interactions and lead to a series of reactions which delay the onset of rain. This delay may lead to increased rain rates, or invigoration, when the cloud eventually rains. We show that aerosol leads to invigoration in certain environments. The strength of the invigoration depends on how large the cloud is, which suggests that it is highly tied to the organization of the cloud system.
Hao Luo and Yong Han
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 15171–15184,Short summary
The various feedbacks of Atlantic tropical cyclones (TCs) to the Saharan air layer (SAL) are determined by the combined effects of dry air masses, the dust aerosols as ice nuclei, and dynamic, thermodynamic, and moisture conditions. The specific influence mechanisms of SAL on the three intensities of TCs (tropical depression, tropical storm, and hurricane) are different. The conclusions are beneficial to our recognition of the physical process and evolution of TCs in the Atlantic region.
Haoran Li, Ottmar Möhler, Tuukka Petäjä, and Dmitri Moisseev
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 14671–14686,Short summary
In natural clouds, ice-nucleating particles are expected to be rare above –10 °C. In the current paper, we found that the formation of ice columns is frequent in stratiform clouds and is associated with increased precipitation intensity and liquid water path. In single-layer shallow clouds, the production of ice columns was attributed to secondary ice production, despite the rime-splintering process not being expected to take place in such clouds.
Qiang Li and Silke Groß
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 14573–14590,Short summary
Aircraft emit exhaust gases and particles directly into the atmosphere, which may contribute to climate change. We present a significant reduction in the occurrence rate and particle linear depolarization ratio of cirrus clouds based on the analysis of measurements with the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) satellite during COVID-19 when air traffic was significantly reduced. The findings imply that these clouds formed with less influence from aviation.
Felipe Toledo, Martial Haeffelin, Eivind Wærsted, and Jean-Charles Dupont
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 13099–13117,Short summary
The article presents a new conceptual model to describe the temporal evolution of continental fog layers, developed based on 7 years of fog measurements performed at the SIRTA observatory, France. This new paradigm relates the visibility reduction caused by fog to its vertical thickness and liquid water path and provides diagnostic variables that could substantially improve the reliability of fog dissipation nowcasting at a local scale, based on real-time profiling observation.
Tom Dror, Mickaël D. Chekroun, Orit Altaratz, and Ilan Koren
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 12261–12272,Short summary
A part of continental shallow convective cumulus (Cu) was shown to share properties such as organization and formation over vegetated areas, thus named green Cu. Mechanisms behind the formed patterns are not understood. We use different metrics and an empirical orthogonal function (EOF) to decompose the dataset and quantify organization factors (cloud streets and gravity waves). We show that clouds form a highly organized grid structure over hundreds of kilometers at the field lifetime.
Xin Lu, Feiyue Mao, Daniel Rosenfeld, Yannian Zhu, Zengxin Pan, and Wei Gong
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 11979–12003,Short summary
In this paper, a novel method for retrieving cloud base height and geometric thickness is developed and applied to produce a global climatology of boundary layer clouds with a high accuracy. The retrieval is based on the 333 m resolution low-level cloud distribution as obtained from the CALIPSO lidar data. The main part of the study describes the variability of cloud vertical geometrical properties in space, season, and time of the day. Resultant new insights are presented.
Rohit Chakraborty, Arindam Chakraborty, Ghouse Basha, and Madineni Venkat Ratnam
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 11161–11177,Short summary
In this study, urbanization-induced surface warming has been found to trigger prominent changes in upper-troposphere–lower-stratosphere regions leading to stronger and more frequent lightning extremes over India. Consequently, the implementation of this hypothesis in global climate models reveals that lightning frequency and intensity values across India will rise by ~10–25 % and 15–50 %, respectively, by 2100 at the current urbanization rate, which should be alarming for present policymakers.
Hannes J. Griesche, Kevin Ohneiser, Patric Seifert, Martin Radenz, Ronny Engelmann, and Albert Ansmann
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 10357–10374,Short summary
Heterogeneous ice formation in Arctic mixed-phase clouds under consideration of their surface-coupling state is investigated. Cloud phase and macrophysical properties were determined by means of lidar and cloud radar measurements, the coupling state, and cloud minimum temperature by radiosonde profiles. Above −15 °C cloud minimum temperature, surface-coupled clouds are more likely to contain ice by a factor of 2–6. By means of a literature survey, causes of the observed effects are discussed.
Bida Jian, Jiming Li, Guoyin Wang, Yuxin Zhao, Yarong Li, Jing Wang, Min Zhang, and Jianping Huang
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 9809–9828,Short summary
We evaluate the performance of the AMIP6 model in simulating cloud albedo over marine subtropical regions and the impacts of different aerosol types and meteorological factors on the cloud albedo based on multiple satellite datasets and reanalysis data. The results show that AMIP6 demonstrates moderate improvement over AMIP5 in simulating the monthly variation in cloud albedo, and changes in different aerosol types and meteorological factors can explain ~65 % of the changes in the cloud albedo.
Johannes Mohrmann, Robert Wood, Tianle Yuan, Hua Song, Ryan Eastman, and Lazaros Oreopoulos
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 9629–9642,Short summary
Observations of marine-boundary-layer conditions are composited by cloud type, based on a new classification dataset. It is found that two cloud types, representing regions of clustered and suppressed low-level clouds, occur in very similar large-scale conditions but are distinguished from each other by considering low-level circulation and surface wind fields, validating prior results from modeling.
Raphaela Vogel, Heike Konow, Hauke Schulz, and Paquita Zuidema
Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for ACPShort summary
The shallow cumulus clouds that populate the trade-wind regions can produce substantial amounts of rain. Before reaching the surface, part of the rain can evaporate and form pools of cold air that spread at the surface as gust fronts. We use ten years of data from Barbados to show that such cold pools occur on 3 out of 4 days, that cold-pool periods are 90 % cloudier relative to the average winter conditions, and that they are connected to specific patterns of mesoscale cloud organization.
Francesco Cairo, Mauro De Muro, Marcel Snels, Luca Di Liberto, Silvia Bucci, Bernard Legras, Ajil Kottayil, Andrea Scoccione, and Stefano Ghisu
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 7947–7961,Short summary
A lidar was used in Palau from February–March 2016. Clouds were observed peaking at 3 km below the high cold-point tropopause (CPT). Their occurrence was linked with cold anomalies, while in warm cases, cirrus clouds were restricted to 5 km below the CPT. Thin subvisible cirrus (SVC) near the CPT had distinctive characteristics. They were linked to wave-induced cold anomalies. Back trajectories are mostly compatible with convective outflow, while some distinctive SVC may originate in situ.
Silke Trömel, Clemens Simmer, Ulrich Blahak, Armin Blanke, Florian Ewald, Michael Frech, Mathias Gergely, Martin Hagen, Sabine Hörnig, Tijana Janjic, Heike Kalesse, Stefan Kneifel, Christoph Knote, Jana Mendrok, Manuel Moser, Gregor Möller, Kai Mühlbauer, Alexander Myagkov, Velibor Pejcic, Patric Seifert, Prabhakar Shrestha, Audrey Teisseire, Leoni von Terzi, Eleni Tetoni, Teresa Vogl, Christiane Voigt, Yuefei Zeng, Tobias Zinner, and Johannes Quaas
Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for ACPShort summary
The article introduces the ACP readership to ongoing research in Germany on cloud and precipitation related process information inherent in polarimetric radar measurements, outlines pathways to inform atmospheric models with radar-based information and points to remaining challenges towards an improved fusion of radar polarimetry and atmospheric modelling.
Martin Radenz, Johannes Bühl, Patric Seifert, Holger Baars, Ronny Engelmann, Boris Barja González, Rodanthi-Elisabeth Mamouri, Félix Zamorano, and Albert Ansmann
Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for ACPShort summary
This study brings together long-term ground-based remote sensing observations of mixed-phase clouds at three key locations of aerosol-cloud interactions in the northern and southern hemisphere mid-latitudes. The findings contribute several new aspects on the nature of the excess of supercooled liquid clouds in the southern hemisphere, such as a long-term lidar-based estimate of ice nucleating particle profiles as well as the effects of boundary layer coupling and gravity waves on ice formation.
Edward Gryspeerdt, Tom Goren, and Tristan W. P. Smith
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 6093–6109,Short summary
Cloud responses to aerosol are time-sensitive, but this development is rarely observed. This study uses isolated aerosol perturbations from ships to measure this development and shows that macrophysical (width, cloud fraction, detectability) and microphysical (droplet number) properties of ship tracks vary strongly with time since emission, background cloud and meteorological state. This temporal development should be considered when constraining aerosol–cloud interactions with observations.
Tianmeng Chen, Zhanqing Li, Ralph A. Kahn, Chuanfeng Zhao, Daniel Rosenfeld, Jianping Guo, Wenchao Han, and Dandan Chen
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 6199–6220,Short summary
A convective cloud identification process is developed using geostationary satellite data from Himawari-8. Convective cloud fraction is generally larger before noon and smaller in the afternoon under polluted conditions, but megacities and complex topography can influence the pattern. A robust relationship between convective cloud and aerosol loading is found. This pattern varies with terrain height and is modulated by varying thermodynamic, dynamical, and humidity conditions during the day.
Ulrike Proske, Verena Bessenbacher, Zane Dedekind, Ulrike Lohmann, and David Neubauer
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 5195–5216,Short summary
Ice crystals falling out of one cloud can initiate freezing in a second cloud below. We estimate the occurrence frequency of this natural cloud seeding over Switzerland from satellite data and sublimation calculations. We find that such situations with an ice cloud above another cloud are frequent and that the falling crystals survive the fall between two clouds in a significant number of cases, suggesting that natural cloud seeding is an important phenomenon over Switzerland.
Joseph Sedlar, Adele Igel, and Hagen Telg
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 4149–4167,
Julia Maillard, François Ravetta, Jean-Christophe Raut, Vincent Mariage, and Jacques Pelon
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 4079–4101,Short 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 clouds contribute to warm the surface in the shoulder seasons but not significantly from May to September.
Kevin M. Smalley and Anita D. Rapp
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 2765–2779,Short summary
We use satellite observations of shallow cumulus clouds to investigate the influence of cloud size on the ratio of cloud water path to rainwater (WRR) in different environments. For a fixed temperature and relative humidity, WRR increases with cloud size, but it varies little with aerosols. These results imply that increasing WRR with rising temperature relates not only to deeper clouds but also to more frequent larger clouds.
Iris-Amata Dion, Cyrille Dallet, Philippe Ricaud, Fabien Carminati, Thibaut Dauhut, and Peter Haynes
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 2191–2210,Short summary
Ice in the tropopause has a strong radiative effect on 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 that includes Indonesia. ∆IWC is studied over islands and sea of the MC. Space-borne observations of ice, precipitation and lightning are used to estimate ∆IWC and are compared to ∆IWC estimated from the ERA5 reanalyses. It is shown that Java is the area of the greatest ∆IWC over the MC.
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.
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.
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.
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This study investigates the importance of snowflake surface-area-to-volume ratio (SAV) for the interpretation of snowfall triple-frequency radar signatures. The results indicate that snowflake SAV has a strong impact on modeled snowfall radar signatures and therefore may be used to further constrain (the large variety and high natural variability of) snowflake shape for snowfall remote sensing, e.g., to distinguish graupel snow from snowfall characterized by large aggregate snowflakes.
This study investigates the importance of snowflake surface-area-to-volume ratio (SAV) for the...