Articles | Volume 20, issue 7
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 4085–4103, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-20-4085-2020
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 4085–4103, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-20-4085-2020

Research article 06 Apr 2020

Research article | 06 Apr 2020

Untangling causality in midlatitude aerosol–cloud adjustments

Daniel T. McCoy et al.

Data sets

MERRA-2 tavg1_2d_slv_Nx: 2d,1-Hourly,Time-Averaged,Single-Level,Assimilation,Single-Level Diagnostics V5.12.4 Global Modeling and Assimilation Office (GMAO) https://doi.org/10.5067/VJAFPLI1CSIV

Geostationary Enhanced Temporal Interpolation for CERES Flux Products (https://ceres.larc.nasa.gov/order_data.php) D. R. Doelling, N. G. Loeb, D. F. Keyes, M. L. Nordeen, D. Morstad, C. Nguyen, B. A. Wielicki, D. F. Young, and M. Sun https://doi.org/10.1175/jtech-d-12-00136.1

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Short summary
Incomplete understanding of how aerosol affects clouds degrades our ability to predict future climate. In particular, it is unclear how aerosol affects the lifetime of clouds. Does it increase or decrease it? This confusion is partially because causality flows from aerosol to clouds and clouds to aerosol, and it is hard to tell what is happening in observations. Here, we use simulations to tell us about how clouds affect aerosol and use this to interpret observations, showing increased lifetime.
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