Measurements of Cloud Susceptibility

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  • 1 U.K. Meteorological Office, Meteorological Research Flight, Farnborough, Hants, United Kingdom
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Abstract

The sensitivity of warm stratocumulus cloud albedo to changes in droplet concentration, termed “cloud susceptibility,” is calculated using data from the UKMO Meteorological Research Flight. Stratocumulus clouds in the eastern Pacific, South Atlantic, subtropical regions of the North Atlantic, and around the British Isles are studied. The range of susceptibility measured is large and maritime clouds are shown to have the largest susceptibility. Numerical simulations of the changes in cloud radiative and microphysical properties with increasing droplet concentration are carried out. These highlight the high sensitivity of maritime clouds to changes in droplet concentration and the rapid reduction in sensitivity as the cloud droplet concentration increases.

Abstract

The sensitivity of warm stratocumulus cloud albedo to changes in droplet concentration, termed “cloud susceptibility,” is calculated using data from the UKMO Meteorological Research Flight. Stratocumulus clouds in the eastern Pacific, South Atlantic, subtropical regions of the North Atlantic, and around the British Isles are studied. The range of susceptibility measured is large and maritime clouds are shown to have the largest susceptibility. Numerical simulations of the changes in cloud radiative and microphysical properties with increasing droplet concentration are carried out. These highlight the high sensitivity of maritime clouds to changes in droplet concentration and the rapid reduction in sensitivity as the cloud droplet concentration increases.

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