skip to main content

Title: Clouds, Aerosol, and Precipitation in the Marine Boundary Layer (CAP-MBL) Final Campaign Report

The extensive coverage of low clouds over the subtropical eastern oceans greatly impacts the current climate. In addition, the response of low clouds to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases and aerosols is a major source of uncertainty, which thwarts accurate prediction of future climate change. Low clouds are poorly simulated in climate models, partly due to inadequate long-term simultaneous observations of their macrophysical and microphysical structure, radiative effects, and associated aerosol distribution in regions where their impact is greatest. The thickness and extent of subtropical low clouds is dependent on tight couplings between surface fluxes of heat and moisture, radiative cooling, boundary layer turbulence, and precipitation (much of which evaporates before reaching the ocean surface and is closely connected to the abundance of cloud condensation nuclei). These couplings have been documented as a result of past field programs and model studies. However, extensive research is still required to achieve a quantitative understanding sufficient for developing parameterizations, which adequately predict aerosol indirect effects and low cloud response to climate perturbations. This is especially true of the interactions between clouds, aerosol, and precipitation. These processes take place in an ever-changing synoptic environment that can confound interpretation of short time period observations.
  1. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
DOE ARM Climate Research Facility, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Richland, Washington
Research Org:
DOE ARM Climate Research Facility, Washington, DC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States