Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/acp-2016-1037
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
14 Dec 2016
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Arctic aerosol net indirect effects on thin, mid-altitude, liquid-bearing clouds
Lauren M. Zamora1,2, Ralph A. Kahn2, Sabine Eckhardt3, Allison McComiskey4, Patricia Sawamura5,6, Richard Moore5, and Andreas Stohl3 1NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow, Universities Space Research Association
2NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA
3NILU - Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Kjeller, Norway
4NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO, USA
5NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, USA
6Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Greenbelt, MD, USA
Abstract. Aerosol indirect effects have uncertain, but potentially large, impacts on the Arctic energy budget. Here, we have reduced uncertainty in current-day Arctic net aerosol indirect effects on the surface by better constraining various physical and microphysical characteristics of optically thin, liquid-containing clouds in clean, average and aerosol-impacted conditions using a combination of CALIPSO and CloudSat data and model output. This work provides a foundation for how future observational studies can evaluate previous model estimates of the aerosol indirect effect. Clouds over sea ice and open ocean show large differences in surface and meteorological forcing, including a near doubling of multi-layer cloud presence over the open ocean compared to sea ice. The optically thin cloud subset is susceptible to aerosols, and over sea ice we estimate a regional scale maximum net indirect effect on these clouds during polar night equivalent to ~ 0.6–0.8 W m−2 at the surface. Aerosol presence is related to reduced precipitation, cloud thickness, and radar reflectivity, and may be associated with an increased likelihood of cloud presence in the liquid phase. The observations are consistent with a thermodynamic indirect effect hypothesis and are inconsistent with a glaciation indirect effect.

Citation: Zamora, L. M., Kahn, R. A., Eckhardt, S., McComiskey, A., Sawamura, P., Moore, R., and Stohl, A.: Arctic aerosol net indirect effects on thin, mid-altitude, liquid-bearing clouds, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-1037, in review, 2016.
Lauren M. Zamora et al.
Lauren M. Zamora et al.
Lauren M. Zamora et al.

Viewed

Total article views: 263 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

HTML PDF XML Total Supplement BibTeX EndNote
205 48 10 263 8 3 13

Views and downloads (calculated since 14 Dec 2016)

Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 14 Dec 2016)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 263 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)

Thereof 261 with geography defined and 2 with unknown origin.

Country # Views %
  • 1

Saved

Discussed

Latest update: 26 Mar 2017
Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
Clouds have a major but uncertain effect on Arctic surface temperatures. Here, we used remote sensing observations to better understand aerosol effects on one type of Arctic cloud. By modifying a variety of cloud properties, aerosols in this type of cloud can indirectly warm the surface during polar night by up to 0.8 W m−2, not including changes in cloud fraction. This work will improve our ability to predict future Arctic surface temperatures.
Clouds have a major but uncertain effect on Arctic surface temperatures. Here, we used remote...
Share