Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-554
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-554
25 Jun 2018
 | 25 Jun 2018
Status: this preprint has been withdrawn by the authors.

Satellite observations of aerosols and clouds over South China from 2006 to 2015: analysis of changes and possible interactions

Nikos Benas, Jan Fokke Meirink, Karl-Göran Karlsson, Martin Stengel, and Piet Stammes

Abstract. Aerosol and cloud properties over South China during the 10-year period 2006–2015 are analysed based on observations from passive and active satellite sensors and emission data. The results show a decrease in aerosol optical depth over the study area by about 20 % on average, accompanied by an increase in liquid cloud cover and cloud liquid water path (LWP) by 5 % and 13 %, respectively. Analysis of aerosol types and emissions suggests that the main driver for their reduction is a decrease in biomass burning aerosols. These changes occurred mainly in late autumn and early winter months and coincided with changes in cloud properties. For the latter, possible explanatory mechanisms were examined, including changes in circulation patterns and aerosol-cloud interactions. Further analysis of changes in aerosol vertical profiles demonstrates a consistency of the observed aerosol and cloud changes with the aerosol semi-direct effect, which depends on their relative heights. Based on this mechanism, less absorbing aerosols in the cloud layer would lead to an overall decrease in evaporation of cloud droplets, thus increasing cloud LWP and cover.

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Nikos Benas, Jan Fokke Meirink, Karl-Göran Karlsson, Martin Stengel, and Piet Stammes

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Interactive discussion

Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Nikos Benas, Jan Fokke Meirink, Karl-Göran Karlsson, Martin Stengel, and Piet Stammes
Nikos Benas, Jan Fokke Meirink, Karl-Göran Karlsson, Martin Stengel, and Piet Stammes

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Short summary
In this study we analyse aerosol and cloud changes over South China and investigate their possible interactions. The results show decreasing aerosol loads and increasing liquid clouds. Further analysis of these changes based on various satellite data sets show consistency with the aerosol semi-direct effect, whereby less absorbing aerosols in the cloud layer would lead to an overall decrease in evaporation of cloud droplets, thus increasing cloud amount and cover.
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