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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  27 Mar 2020

27 Mar 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Meteorological and cloud conditions during the Arctic Ocean 2018 expedition

Jutta Vüllers1, Peggy Achtert2, Ian M. Brooks1, Michael Tjernström3, John Prytherch3, and Ryan Neely III1 Jutta Vüllers et al.
  • 1Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, United Kingdom
  • 2Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeißenberg, German Weather Service, Hohenpeißenberg, 82383, Germany
  • 3Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, 10691, Sweden

Abstract. The Arctic Ocean 2018 (AO2018) expedition took place in the central Arctic Ocean in August and September 2018. An extensive suite of instrumentation provided detailed measurements of surface water chemistry and biology, sea ice and ocean physical and biogeochemical properties, surface exchange processes, aerosols, clouds, and the state of the atmosphere. The measurements provide important information on the coupling of the ocean and ice surface to the atmosphere and in particular to clouds. This paper provides: (i) an overview of the synoptic-scale atmospheric conditions and its climatological anomaly to help interpret the process studies and put the detailed observations from AO2018 into a larger context, both spatially and temporally; (ii) a statistical analysis of the thermodynamic and near-surface meteorological conditions, boundary layer, cloud, and fog characteristics; (iii) a comparison of the results to observations from earlier Arctic Ocean expeditions, in particular AOE96, SHEBA, AOE2001, ASCOS, ACSE, and AO2016, to provide an assessment of the representativeness of the measurements. The results show that near-surface conditions were broadly comparable to earlier experiments, however the thermodynamic vertical structure was quite different. An unusually high frequency of well-mixed boundary layers up to about 1 km depth occurred, and only a few cases of the prototypical Arctic summer single-layer stratocumulus deck were observed. Instead, an unexpectedly high amount of multiple cloud layers and mid-level clouds was present throughout the campaign. These differences from previous studies are related to the high frequency of cyclonic activity in the central Arctic in 2018.

Jutta Vüllers et al.

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Jutta Vüllers et al.

Jutta Vüllers et al.


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Latest update: 24 Sep 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
This paper provides interesting new results of the thermodynamic structure of the boundary layer, cloud conditions and fog characteristics in the Arctic during the Arctic Ocean 2018 campaign. It provides information to interpret further process studies on aerosol–cloud interactions but also shows substantial differences of the thermodynamic conditions and cloud characteristics based on the comparison with previous campaigns. This certainly raises the question if it is just an exceptional year.
This paper provides interesting new results of the thermodynamic structure of the boundary...