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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-466
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-466
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 21 May 2019

Research article | 21 May 2019

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

CCN concentration and INP-relevant aerosol profiles in the Saharan Air Layer over Barbados from polarization lidar and airborne in situ measurements

Moritz Haarig1, Adrian Walser2, Albert Ansmann1, Maximilian Dollner2, Dietrich Althausen1, Daniel Sauer3, David Farrell4, and Bernadett Weinzierl2 Moritz Haarig et al.
  • 1Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  • 3Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 4Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology, Bridgetown, Barbados

Abstract. The present study aims to validate lidar retrievals of cloud-relevant aerosol properties by using polarization lidar and coincident airborne in situ measurements in the Saharan Air Layer over the Barbados region. Vertical profiles of the number concentration of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), large particles (diameter d > 500 nm), surface area, and ice nucleating particles (INP) are estimated from the lidar measurements and compared with CCN concentrations and the INP-relevant aerosol properties in situ measured with aircraft in the framework of the Saharan Aerosol Long-range Transport and Aerosol–Cloudinteraction Experiment (SALTRACE) in summer 2013. The CCN number concentrations derived from lidar observations were up to a factor of two higher than the ones measured in situ on board the research aircraft Falcon. However, a reasonable agreement was obtained when taking the lidar uncertainty into account. The number concentration of particles with dry radius > 250 nm and the surface area concentration obtained from the lidar observations and used as input for the INP parameterizations agreed well (< 30–50 % deviation) with the aircraft measurements. In a pronounced lofted dust layer during summer (10 July 2013), the lidar retrieval yielded 100–300 CCN per cm3 at 0.2 % water supersaturation and 25–65 INP per L at −25 °C. During the SALTRACE winter campaign (March 2014), the dust layer from Africa was mixed with smoke particles which dominated the CCN number concentration. This example highlights the unique lidar potential to separate smoke and dust contributions to the CCN reservoir and thus to identify the sensitive role of smoke in trade wind cumuli developments over the tropical Atlantic during the winter season.

Moritz Haarig et al.
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Short summary
Small particles (aerosols) are necessary to form a cloud droplet. In order to improve studies of cloud formation, the aerosol load and type below a cloud has to be measured without disturbing the cloud. A lidar is a perfect tool for this purpuse as it provides a vertical profil of the aerosol particles from ground. In this study we validated the lidar retrieval of particle number concentrations with airborne in situ measurements in a Saharan air layer at Barbados.
Small particles (aerosols) are necessary to form a cloud droplet. In order to improve studies of...
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