Observations of clouds, aerosols, precipitation, and surface radiation over the southern ocean

Greg M. McFarquhar, Christopher S. Bretherton, Roger Marchand, Alain Protat, Paul J. DeMott, Simon P. Alexander, Greg C. Roberts, Cynthia H. Twohy, Darin Toohey, Steve Siems, Yi Huang, Robert Wood, Robert M. Rauber, Sonia Lasher-Trapp, Jorgen Jensen, Jeffrey L. Stith, Jay Mace, Junshik Um, Emma Järvinen, Martin SchnaiterAndrew Gettelman, Kevin J. Sanchez, Christina S. McCluskey, Lynn M. Russell, Isabel L. McCoy, Rachel L. Atlas, Charles G. Bardeen, Kathryn A. Moore, Thomas C.J. Hill, Ruhi S. Humphries, Melita D. Keywood, Zoran Ristovski, Luke Cravigan, Robyn Schofield, Chris Fairall, Marc D. Mallet, Sonia M. Kreidenweis, Bryan Rainwater, John D'Alessandro, Yang Wang, Wei Wu, Georges Saliba, Ezra J.T. Levin, Saisai Ding, Francisco Lang, Son C.H. Truong, Cory Wolff, Julie Haggerty, Mike J. Harvey, Andrew R. Klekociuk, Adrian McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Weather and climate models are challenged by uncertainties and biases in simulating Southern Ocean (SO) radiative fluxes that trace to a poor understanding of cloud, aerosol, precipitation, and radiative processes, and their interactions. Projects between 2016 and 2018 used in situ probes, radar, lidar, and other instruments to make comprehensive measurements of thermodynamics, surface radiation, cloud, precipitation, aerosol, cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), and ice nucleating particles over the SO cold waters, and in ubiquitous liquid and mixed-phase clouds common to this pristine environment. Data including soundings were collected from the NSF-NCAR G-V aircraft flying north-south gradients south of Tasmania, at Macquarie Island, and on the R/V Investigator and RSV Aurora Australis. Synergistically these data characterize boundary layer and free troposphere environmental properties, and represent the most comprehensive data of this type available south of the oceanic polar front, in the cold sector of SO cyclones, and across seasons. Results show largely pristine environments with numerous small and few large aerosols above cloud, suggesting new particle formation and limited long-range transport from continents, high variability in CCN and cloud droplet concentrations, and ubiquitous supercooled water in thin, multilayered clouds, often with small-scale generating cells near cloud top. These observations demonstrate how cloud properties depend on aerosols while highlighting the importance of dynamics and turbulence that likely drive heterogeneity of cloud phase. Satellite retrievals confirmed low clouds were responsible for radiation biases. The combination of models and observations is examining how aerosols and meteorology couple to control SO water and energy budgets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E894-E928
Number of pages35
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Volume102
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • Aerosol-cloud interaction
  • Cloud microphysics
  • Cloud radiative effects
  • Cloud water/phase
  • Radiation budgets
  • Southern Ocean

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