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Title: Dynamics, thermodynamics, radiation, and cloudiness associated with cumulus-topped marine boundary layers

The overall goal of this project was to improve the understanding of marine boundary clouds by using data collected at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) sites, so that they can be better represented in global climate models (GCMs). Marine boundary clouds are observed regularly over the tropical and subtropical oceans. They are an important element of the Earth’s climate system because they have substantial impact on the radiation budget together with the boundary layer moisture, and energy transports. These clouds also have an impact on large-scale precipitation features like the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Because these clouds occur at temporal and spatial scales much smaller than those relevant to GCMs, their effects and the associated processes need to be parameterized in GCM simulations aimed at predicting future climate and energy needs. Specifically, this project’s objectives were to (1) characterize the surface turbulent fluxes, boundary layer thermodynamics, radiation field, and cloudiness associated with cumulus-topped marine boundary layers; (2) explore the similarities and differences in cloudiness and boundary layer conditions observed in the tropical and trade-wind regions; and (3) understand similarities and differences by using a simple bulk boundary layer model. In addition to working toward achieving the project’s three objectives,more » we also worked on understanding the role played by different forcing mechanisms in maintaining turbulence within cloud-topped boundary layers We focused our research on stratocumulus clouds during the first phase of the project, and cumulus clouds during the rest of the project. Below is a brief description of manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals that describe results from our analyses.« less
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  2. Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Clouds; Radiation; Climate; Cumulus; Marine Stratocumulus; Sahel; Diurnal Cycle; Thermodynamics