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Title: Abrupt cloud clearing of marine stratocumulus in the subtropical southeast Atlantic

Abstract

We document rapid and abrupt clearings of large portions of the subtropical marine low cloud deck that have implications for the global radiation balance and climate sensitivity. Over the southeast Atlantic, large areas of stratocumulus are quickly eroded, yielding partial or complete clearing along sharp transitions hundreds to thousands of kilometers in length that move westward at 8 to 12 meters per second and travel as far as 1000+ kilometers from the African coast. The westward-moving cloudiness reductions have an annual peak in occurrence in the period from April through June. The cloud erosion boundaries reduce cloud at ≈10-kilometer scale in less than 15 minutes, move approximately perpendicular to the mean flow, and are often accompanied by small-scale wave features. Observations suggest that the cloud erosion is caused by atmospheric gravity waves.

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ORCiD logo; ; ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1465259
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0006701; SC0006736; SC0016522
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Science Journal Volume: 361 Journal Issue: 6403; Journal ID: ISSN 0036-8075
Publisher:
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Yuter, Sandra E., Hader, John D., Miller, Matthew A., and Mechem, David B. Abrupt cloud clearing of marine stratocumulus in the subtropical southeast Atlantic. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1126/science.aar5836.
Yuter, Sandra E., Hader, John D., Miller, Matthew A., & Mechem, David B. Abrupt cloud clearing of marine stratocumulus in the subtropical southeast Atlantic. United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aar5836
Yuter, Sandra E., Hader, John D., Miller, Matthew A., and Mechem, David B. Thu . "Abrupt cloud clearing of marine stratocumulus in the subtropical southeast Atlantic". United States. doi:https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aar5836.
@article{osti_1465259,
title = {Abrupt cloud clearing of marine stratocumulus in the subtropical southeast Atlantic},
author = {Yuter, Sandra E. and Hader, John D. and Miller, Matthew A. and Mechem, David B.},
abstractNote = {We document rapid and abrupt clearings of large portions of the subtropical marine low cloud deck that have implications for the global radiation balance and climate sensitivity. Over the southeast Atlantic, large areas of stratocumulus are quickly eroded, yielding partial or complete clearing along sharp transitions hundreds to thousands of kilometers in length that move westward at 8 to 12 meters per second and travel as far as 1000+ kilometers from the African coast. The westward-moving cloudiness reductions have an annual peak in occurrence in the period from April through June. The cloud erosion boundaries reduce cloud at ≈10-kilometer scale in less than 15 minutes, move approximately perpendicular to the mean flow, and are often accompanied by small-scale wave features. Observations suggest that the cloud erosion is caused by atmospheric gravity waves.},
doi = {10.1126/science.aar5836},
journal = {Science},
number = 6403,
volume = 361,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aar5836

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Cited by: 1 work
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