Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 549-568, 2008
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Observations of convective clouds generated by solar heating of dark smoke plumes
L. Klüser1, D. Rosenfeld2, A. Macke3, and T. Holzer-Popp1
1German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), Weßling, Germany
2Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
3Leibniz-Institute of Marine Sciences, IFM-GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany

Abstract. The SEVIRI instrument on the Meteosat Second Generation satellite with both fine spatial and temporal resolution allows to detect and follow the dynamics of fast developing meteorological events like spreading smoke plumes and the lifecycles of convective clouds. Smoke plumes have the ability to change the atmospheric heat content due to absorption and reduced reflection of solar radiation. By these means they can alter the temperature profile of the atmosphere and trigger convective clouds. A heavy smoke plume emerging from burning Lebanese oil tanks and spreading over adjacent deserts on 17 July 2006 has been observed as an example of such an effect. This study suggests a physical explanation of the observed convection along the edge of the smoke plume, namely the strong thermal contrast resulting from solar heating of the smoke layer.

Citation: Klüser, L., Rosenfeld, D., Macke, A., and Holzer-Popp, T.: Observations of convective clouds generated by solar heating of dark smoke plumes, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 549-568, doi:10.5194/acpd-8-549-2008, 2008.
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