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J. Verlinde, B. D. Zak, M. D. Shupe, M. D. Ivey, and K. Stamnes
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K. Stamnes, R. G. Ellingson, J. A. Curry, J. E. Walsh, and B. D. Zak

Abstract

Recent climate modeling results point to the Arctic as a region that is particularly sensitive to global climate change. The Arctic warming predicted by the models to result from the expected doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide is two to three times the predicted mean global warming, and considerably greater than the warming predicted for the Antarctic. The North Slope of Alaska–Adjacent Arctic Ocean (NSA–AAO) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program is designed to collect data on temperature-ice-albedo and water vapor–cloud–radiation feedbacks, which are believed to be important to the predicted enhanced warming in the Arctic. The most important scientific issues of Arctic, as well as global, significance to be addressed at the NSA–AAO CART site are discussed, and a brief overview of the current approach toward, and status of, site development is provided. ARM radiometric and remote sensing instrumentation is already deployed and taking data in the perennial Arctic ice pack as part of the SHEBA (Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean) experiment. In parallel with ARM’s participation in SHEBA, the NSA–AAO facility near Barrow was formally dedicated on 1 July 1997 and began routine data collection early in 1998. This schedule permits the U.S. Department of Energy’s ARM Program, NASA’s Arctic Cloud program, and the SHEBA program (funded primarily by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research) to be mutually supportive. In addition, location of the NSA–AAO Barrow facility on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration land immediately adjacent to its Climate Monitoring and Diagnostic Laboratory Barrow Observatory includes NOAA in this major interagency Arctic collaboration.

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J. Verlinde, J. Y. Harrington, G. M. McFarquhar, V. T. Yannuzzi, A. Avramov, S. Greenberg, N. Johnson, G. Zhang, M. R. Poellot, J. H. Mather, D. D. Turner, E. W. Eloranta, B. D. Zak, A. J. Prenni, J. S. Daniel, G. L. Kok, D. C. Tobin, R. Holz, K. Sassen, D. Spangenberg, P. Minnis, T. P. Tooman, M. D. Ivey, S. J. Richardson, C. P. Bahrmann, M. Shupe, P. J. DeMott, A. J. Heymsfield, and R. Schofield

The Mixed-Phase Arctic Cloud Experiment (M-PACE) was conducted from 27 September through 22 October 2004 over the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility (ACRF) on the North Slope of Alaska. The primary objectives were to collect a dataset suitable to study interactions between microphysics, dynamics, and radiative transfer in mixed-phase Arctic clouds, and to develop/evaluate cloud property retrievals from surface-and satellite-based remote sensing instruments. Observations taken during the 1977/98 Surface Heat and Energy Budget of the Arctic (SHEBA) experiment revealed that Arctic clouds frequently consist of one (or more) liquid layers precipitating ice. M-PACE sought to investigate the physical processes of these clouds by utilizing two aircraft (an in situ aircraft to characterize the microphysical properties of the clouds and a remote sensing aircraft to constraint the upwelling radiation) over the ACRF site on the North Slope of Alaska. The measurements successfully documented the microphysical structure of Arctic mixed-phase clouds, with multiple in situ profiles collected in both single- and multilayer clouds over two ground-based remote sensing sites. Liquid was found in clouds with cloud-top temperatures as cold as −30°C, with the coldest cloud-top temperature warmer than −40°C sampled by the aircraft. Remote sensing instruments suggest that ice was present in low concentrations, mostly concentrated in precipitation shafts, although there are indications of light ice precipitation present below the optically thick single-layer clouds. The prevalence of liquid down to these low temperatures potentially could be explained by the relatively low measured ice nuclei concentrations.

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