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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-667
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-667
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 25 Oct 2018

Research article | 25 Oct 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Exploring aerosol cloud interaction using VOCALS-REx aircraft measurements

Hailing Jia1, Xiaoyan Ma1, and Yangang Liu2 Hailing Jia et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education (KLME)/Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environment Change (ILCEC)/Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters (CIC-FEMD)/Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of China Meteorological Administration, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 2Environmental and Climate Sciences Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, USA

Abstract. In situ aircraft measurements during the VAMOS Ocean–Cloud–Atmosphere–Land Study-Regional Experiment (VOCALS-REx) field campaign are employed to study the interaction between aerosol and stratocumulus over the southeast Pacific Ocean, as well as entrainment process near the top of stratocumulus and its possible impacts on aerosol–cloud interaction. Our analysis suggest that the increase of liquid water content (LWC) is mainly contributed by cloud droplet number concentration (Nd) instead of effective radius of cloud droplets in the polluted case, in which more droplets form with smaller size, while the opposite is true in the clean case. By looking into the influences of dynamical conditions and aerosol microphysical properties on the cloud droplet formation, it is confirmed that cloud droplets are more easily to form under the conditions with large vertical velocity and aerosol size. An increase in aerosol concentration tends to increase both Nd and relative dispersion (ϵ), while an increase in vertical velocity (w) often increases Nd but decreases ϵ. After constraining the differences of cloud dynamics, positive correlation between ϵ and Nd become stronger, implying that perturbations of w could weaken the influence of aerosol on ϵ, and hence may result in an underestimation of aerosol dispersion effect. The difference of cloud microphysical properties between entrainment and non-entrainment zones confirms that the entrainment-mixing mechanism is predominantly extreme inhomogeneous in the stratocumulus that capped by a sharp inversion, namely the entrainment reduces Nd and LWC by 28.9% and 24.8% on average, respectively, while the size of droplets is relatively unaffected. In entrainment zone, smaller aerosols and drier air entrained from the top induce less cloud droplet with respect to total in-cloud particles (0.56±0.22) than the case in non-entrainment zone (0.73±.0.13) by inhibiting aerosol activation and promoting cloud droplets evaporation.

Hailing Jia et al.
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Aircraft measurements are used to study aerosol–cloud interaction (ACI), as well as the entrainment near cloud top and its possible impacts on ACI. After constraining cloud dynamics, positive correlation between relative dispersion and CCN concentration become stronger, implying that perturbations of dynamics could underestimate dispersion effect. Smaller aerosols and drier air entrained from cloud top reduce droplets formation by inhibiting aerosol activation and promoting droplets evaporation.
Aircraft measurements are used to study aerosol–cloud interaction (ACI), as well as the...
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