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Title: The efficacy of aerosol–cloud radiative perturbations from near-surface emissions in deep open-cell stratocumuli

Abstract

Aerosol–cloud radiative effects are determined and quantified in simulationsof deep open-cell stratocumuli observed during the VAMOS Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere-LandStudy Regional Experiment (VOCALS-REx) campaign offthe west coast of Chile. The cloud deck forms in a boundarylayer 1.5km deep, with cell sizes reaching 50km in diameter. Global databases of shiptracks suggest that these linear structures are seldom found in boundarylayers this deep. Here, we quantify the changes in cloud radiative propertiesto a continuous aerosol point source moving along a fixed emission linereleasing 10 17 particles per second. We show that a spatially coherentcloud perturbation is not evident along the emission line. Yet our modelsimulates an increase in domain-mean all-sky albedo of 0.05, corresponding toa diurnally averaged cloud radiative effect of 20W m -2, given theannual mean solar insolation at the VOCALS-REx site. Therefore, markedchanges in cloud radiative properties in precipitating deep open cells may bedriven by anthropogenic near-surface aerosol perturbations, such as thosegenerated by ships.Furthermore, we demonstrate that these changes in cloud radiative propertiesare masked by the naturally occurring variability within the organised cloudfield. A clear detection and attribution of cloud radiative effects to aperturbation in aerosol concentrations becomes possible when sub-filtering ofthe cloud field is applied, using the spatio-temporal distribution of theaerosol perturbation.more » Therefore, this work has implications for the detectionand attribution of effective cloud radiative forcing in marine stratocumuli,which constitutes one of the major physical uncertainties within the climatesystem. Our results suggest that ships may sometimes have a substantialradiative effect on marine clouds and albedo, even when ship tracks are notreadily visible.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [1];  [3]
  1. Carnegie Inst. of Science, Stanford, CA (United States)
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  3. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1496615
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-140346
Journal ID: ISSN 1680-7324
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online); Journal Volume: 18; Journal Issue: 23; Journal ID: ISSN 1680-7324
Publisher:
European Geosciences Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Possner, Anna, Wang, Hailong, Wood, Robert, Caldeira, Ken, and Ackerman, Thomas P. The efficacy of aerosol–cloud radiative perturbations from near-surface emissions in deep open-cell stratocumuli. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.5194/acp-18-17475-2018.
Possner, Anna, Wang, Hailong, Wood, Robert, Caldeira, Ken, & Ackerman, Thomas P. The efficacy of aerosol–cloud radiative perturbations from near-surface emissions in deep open-cell stratocumuli. United States. doi:10.5194/acp-18-17475-2018.
Possner, Anna, Wang, Hailong, Wood, Robert, Caldeira, Ken, and Ackerman, Thomas P. Tue . "The efficacy of aerosol–cloud radiative perturbations from near-surface emissions in deep open-cell stratocumuli". United States. doi:10.5194/acp-18-17475-2018. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1496615.
@article{osti_1496615,
title = {The efficacy of aerosol–cloud radiative perturbations from near-surface emissions in deep open-cell stratocumuli},
author = {Possner, Anna and Wang, Hailong and Wood, Robert and Caldeira, Ken and Ackerman, Thomas P.},
abstractNote = {Aerosol–cloud radiative effects are determined and quantified in simulationsof deep open-cell stratocumuli observed during the VAMOS Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere-LandStudy Regional Experiment (VOCALS-REx) campaign offthe west coast of Chile. The cloud deck forms in a boundarylayer 1.5km deep, with cell sizes reaching 50km in diameter. Global databases of shiptracks suggest that these linear structures are seldom found in boundarylayers this deep. Here, we quantify the changes in cloud radiative propertiesto a continuous aerosol point source moving along a fixed emission linereleasing 1017 particles per second. We show that a spatially coherentcloud perturbation is not evident along the emission line. Yet our modelsimulates an increase in domain-mean all-sky albedo of 0.05, corresponding toa diurnally averaged cloud radiative effect of 20W m-2, given theannual mean solar insolation at the VOCALS-REx site. Therefore, markedchanges in cloud radiative properties in precipitating deep open cells may bedriven by anthropogenic near-surface aerosol perturbations, such as thosegenerated by ships.Furthermore, we demonstrate that these changes in cloud radiative propertiesare masked by the naturally occurring variability within the organised cloudfield. A clear detection and attribution of cloud radiative effects to aperturbation in aerosol concentrations becomes possible when sub-filtering ofthe cloud field is applied, using the spatio-temporal distribution of theaerosol perturbation. Therefore, this work has implications for the detectionand attribution of effective cloud radiative forcing in marine stratocumuli,which constitutes one of the major physical uncertainties within the climatesystem. Our results suggest that ships may sometimes have a substantialradiative effect on marine clouds and albedo, even when ship tracks are notreadily visible.},
doi = {10.5194/acp-18-17475-2018},
journal = {Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (Online)},
number = 23,
volume = 18,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {12}
}

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Figures / Tables:

Table 1 Table 1: Spatio-temporal averages of liquid water path (LWP), surface precipitation ($R$sfc), cloud base precipitation ($R$cb), cloud fraction (CF), sub-cloud mean boundary layer aerosol concentration ($N$a_sub) and cloud-top droplet number concentration ($N$d_top) are presented. The first row containing data shows the observations of the open-cell stratocumulus deck obtained during researchmore » flight RF06 of the VOCALSRex campaign on 28 October 2008 between 08:00 and 13:30 UTC. The numerical results, shown in the last two rows, were averaged over the identical time periods over both simulated days. Domain-mean values were computed for LWP, CF and $N$a_sub. $R$sfc was averaged only over values exceeding 0.1 mmday−1 and $R$cb was averaged for all $R$cb > 0 mmday−1 (consistent with observations). $N$d_top was diagnosed at the highest model level where cloud water content exceeded 0.01 gm−3 and was averaged horizontally (cloudy points only). Numbers in brackets denote the interquartile range of each variable, which covers the spatial and temporal variability of the cloud field. Numerical results are shown for the control simulation (ctrl) and the aerosol perturbed simulation (ship). Further details on simulations can be obtained in the text.« less

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