Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-540
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-540

  11 Aug 2021

11 Aug 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

North Atlantic Ocean–Atmosphere Driven Variations in Aerosol Evolution along Lagrangian Cold-Air Outbreak Trajectories

Kevin J. Sanchez1,2, Bo Zhang3, Hongyu Liu3, Matthew D. Brown2,4, Ewan C. Crosbie2,4, Francesca Gallo1,2, Jonathan W. Hair2, Chris A. Hostetler2, Carolyn E. Jordan2,3, Claire E. Robinson2,4, Amy Jo Scarino2,4, Taylor J. Shingler2, Michael A. Shook2, Kenneth L. Thornhill2,4, Elizabeth B. Wiggins1,2, Edward L. Winstead2,4, Luke D. Ziemba2, Georges Saliba5, Savannah L. Lewis5, Lynn M. Russell5, Patricia K. Quinn6, Timothy S. Bates6,7, Jack Porter9, Thomas G. Bell8,9, Peter Gaube10, Eric S. Saltzman9, Michael J. Behrenfeld11, and Richard H. Moore2 Kevin J. Sanchez et al.
  • 1NASA Postdoctoral Program, Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, MD
  • 2NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
  • 3National Institute of Aerospace, Hampton, VA
  • 4Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Hampton, VA
  • 5Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA
  • 6Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, NOAA, Seattle, WA, USA
  • 7Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean and Ecosystem Studies, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
  • 8Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Prospect Place, Plymouth, United Kingdom
  • 9Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA
  • 10Applied Physics Laboratory, Air-Sea Interaction and Remote Sensing Department, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
  • 11Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Abstract. Atmospheric marine particle concentrations impact cloud properties, which strongly impact the amount of solar radiation reflected back into space or absorbed by the ocean surface. While satellites can provide a snapshot of current conditions at the overpass time, models are necessary to simulate temporal variations in both particle and cloud properties. However, poor model accuracy limits the reliability with which these tools can be used to predict future climate. Here, we leverage the comprehensive ocean ecosystem and atmospheric aerosol-cloud data set obtained during the third deployment of the North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES3). Airborne and ship-based measurements were collected in and around a cold-air outbreak during a three-day intensive operations period from September 17–19, 2017. Cold-air outbreaks are of keen interest for model validation because they are challenging to accurately simulate, which is due, in part, to the numerous feedbacks and sub-grid scale processes that influence aerosol and cloud evolution. The NAAMES observations are particularly valuable because the flight plans were tailored to lie along Lagrangian trajectories, making it possible to spatiotemporally connect upwind and downwind measurements with the state-of-the-art FLEXible PARTicle (FLEXPART) Lagrangian particle dispersion model and then calculate a rate of change in particle properties. Initial aerosol conditions spanning an east-west, closed-cell cloudy to clear air transition region of the cold-air outbreak indicate similar particle concentrations and properties. However, despite the similarities in the aerosol fields, the cloud properties downwind of each region evolved quite differently. One trajectory carried particles through a cold-air outbreak, resulting in a decrease in accumulation mode particle concentration (−42 %) and cloud droplet concentrations, while the other remained outside of the cold-air outbreak and experienced an increase in accumulation mode particle concentrations (+62 %). The variable meteorological conditions between these two adjacent trajectories result from differences in the local sea surface temperature altering stability of the marine atmospheric boundary layer because of the location of the Labrador Current. Further comparisons of historical satellite observations indicate that the observed pattern occurs annually in the region, making it an ideal location for future airborne Lagrangian studies tracking the evolution of aerosols and clouds over time under cold air outbreak conditions.

Kevin J. Sanchez et al.

Status: open (extended)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Kevin J. Sanchez et al.

Kevin J. Sanchez et al.

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Short summary
Atmospheric particle concentrations impact clouds, which strongly impact the amount of sunlight reflected back into space and the overall climate. Measurements of particles over the ocean are rare and expensive to collect, so models are necessary to fill in the gaps by simulating both particle and clouds. However, some measurements are needed to test the accuracy of the models. Here, we measure changes in particles in different weather conditions, which are ideal for comparison with models.
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