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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-26
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-26
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 05 Feb 2019

Research article | 05 Feb 2019

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

Cloud macro-physical properties in Saharan dust laden and dust free North Atlantic trade wind regimes: A lidar study

Manuel Gutleben, Silke Groß, and Martin Wirth Manuel Gutleben et al.
  • Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), 82234 Weßling, Germany

Abstract. Saharan dust is known to have an important impact on the atmospheric radiation budget, both directly and indirectly by changing cloud properties. However, up to now it is still an open question if elevated and long-range transported Saharan dust layers have an effect on subjacent marine trade wind cloud occurrence. Shallow trade wind clouds have a significant impact on the Earth's radiation budget and still introduce large uncertainties in climate sensitivity estimates, because of their poor representation in climate models. The Next-generation Aircraft Remote-Sensing for Validation studies (NARVAL) aimed at providing a better understanding of shallow marine trade wind clouds and their interplay with long-range transported elevated Saharan dust layers. Two airborne campaigns were conducted – the first one in December 2013 and the second one in August 2016; the latter one during the peak season of transatlantic Saharan dust transport. Airborne lidar measurements in the vicinity of Barbados performed during the second field campaign are used to investigate possible differences between shallow marine cloud macro-physical properties in dust-free regions and regions comprising elevated Saharan dust layers. The cloud top height distribution derived in dust-laden regions differs from the one derived in dust-free regions and indicates that clouds are shallower and convective development is suppressed. Furthermore, regions comprising elevated Saharan dust layers show a larger fraction of small clouds and larger cloud free regions, compared to dust-free regions. The cloud fraction in dusty regions is only 14 % compared to a fraction of 31 % in dust-free regions. Moreover, a decreasing trend of cloud fractions and cloud top heights with increasing dust layer vertical extent as well as aerosol optical depth is found.

Manuel Gutleben et al.
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Manuel Gutleben et al.
Manuel Gutleben et al.
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Short summary
This study concentrates on airborne lidar measurements conducted during the NARVAL-II field campaign over the western subtropical North Atlantic Ocean to study differences between shallow marine cloud macro-physical properties (i.e. cloud fraction, cloud top height, cloud length, cloud gap length) in Saharan dust laden and dust free trade wind regions. Cloud top heights, cloud fractions and cloud lengths are found to be lower and smaller in Saharan dust laden compared to dust free regions.
This study concentrates on airborne lidar measurements conducted during the NARVAL-II field...
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