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Vincent Noel and Hélène Chepfer

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to retrieve information about ice particle orientation in cirrus clouds. This is achieved by comparing simulations of sunlight reflection on a cirrus cloud with measurements of polarized radiances from the spaceborne instrument Polarization and Directionality of the Earth's Reflectance (POLDER-1) on Advanced Earth Observing Satellite-1 (ADEOS-1). Results show that horizontal orientation of crystals can be spotted by the presence of a local maximum of polarized radiance in the direction of specular reflection. The angular width of the local maximum is shown to contain information on the particle maximum deviation angle, while the maximum intensity can provide information on particle shape and relative concentrations of ice crystals, horizontally and randomly oriented. The study of 31 ice cloud cases show that in 80% of them, the deviation angle is less than 3°. Also, the relative concentration of horizontally oriented crystals is less than 21%, depending on the angular distribution used for crystal deviation.

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Erik Höjgård-Olsen, Hélène Brogniez, and Hélène Chepfer

Abstract

Better understanding of how moisture, clouds, and precipitation covary under climate warming lacks a comprehensive observational view. This paper analyzes the tropical atmospheric water cycle’s evolution with sea surface temperature (SST), using for the first time, the synergistic dataset of instantaneous observations of the relative humidity profile from the Megha-Tropiques satellite, clouds from the CALIPSO satellite, and near-surface precipitation from the CloudSat satellite, and quantifies their rates of change with SST warming. The dataset is partitioned into three vertical velocity regimes, with cloudy grid boxes categorized by phase (ice or liquid), opacity (opaque or thin), and the presence of near-surface precipitation. Opaque cloud cover is always larger in the presence of near-surface precipitation (high ice clouds especially). Low liquid water clouds in the descending regime dominate for SSTs < 299.25 K, where the free troposphere is dry (~20%), and opaque liquid water cloud cover decreases with SST warming (−8% K−1) and thin liquid water cloud cover stays constant (~20%). High ice clouds dominate the ascending regime in which, for 299.25 < SST < 301.75 K, humidity increases with SST in the lower free troposphere and peaks around 302 K. Over the warm SST range (>301.75 K), in the ascending regime, opaque high ice cloud cover decreases with SST (−13% K−1), while thin ice cloud cover increases (+6% K−1). Over the warm SST range, total cloudiness decreases with warming in all regimes. This paper characterizes fundamental relationships between aspects of the tropical atmospheric water cycle and SST.

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Maria Raffaella Vuolo, Laurent Menut, and Hélène Chepfer

Abstract

A sensitivity study is performed with the CHIMERE-DUST chemistry transport model in order to evaluate the modeled mineral dust spread due to the horizontal transport scheme accuracy. Three different schemes are implemented in the model: the simple first-order UPWIND scheme, the second-order Van Leer scheme, and the third-order parabolic piecewise method (PPM) scheme. The results showed that a large part of the uncertainty in dust modeling may be due to the transport scheme only. Compared to the PPM scheme, it is shown that, over a large domain encompassing western Africa and the North Atlantic, a significant increase in the dust plume extension is locally diagnosed (+25% with Van Leer and +48% with UPWIND) and linked to a decrease in the dust maxima (−17% with Van Leer and −32% with UPWIND) to PPM. Far from the sources, hourly surface concentration differences may be up to 30 μg m−3 in Europe, highlighting the high uncertainty of dust modeling for air quality use.

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Vincent Noel, Helene Chepfer, Martial Haeffelin, and Yohann Morille

Abstract

This paper presents a study of ice crystal shapes in midlatitude ice clouds inferred from a technique based on the comparison of ray-tracing simulations with lidar depolarization ratio measured at 532 nm. This technique is applied to three years of lidar depolarization ratio observations from the Site Instrumental de Recherche par Télédétection Atmosphérique (SIRTA) observatory in Palaiseau, France, amounting to 322 different days of ice cloud observations. Particles in clouds are classified in three major groups: plates, columns, and irregular shapes with aspect ratios close to unity. Retrieved shapes are correlated with radiosounding observations from a close-by meteorological station: temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and direction.

Results show a strong dependence of the relative concentration of different crystal shapes to most atmospheric variables, such as the temperature, with a clear successive dominance by platelike (temperature above −20°C), irregular (temperatures between −60° and −40°C), and columnlike shapes (temperatures below −60°C). Particle shapes are almost exclusively columnlike below −75°C. This is in sharp contrast with previous results of the same classification applied to tropical clouds, and highlights the high geographic variability of the ice clouds distribution of microphysical properties. Results also suggest that ice clouds created by jet streams (identified by high wind speeds) are strongly dominated by columnlike shapes, while front-created ice clouds (identified by lower wind speeds) show a much more variable mix of shapes, with the dominant shapes depending on other factors. Results also suggest different microphysical properties according to the average direction source of air masses and winds. Following these results, a possible parameterization of ice crystal shapes in midlatitude ice clouds as a function of temperature is provided.

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Laurent Sauvage, Pierre H. Flamant, Hélène Chepfer, Gérard Brogniez, Vincent Trouillet, Jacques Pelon, and Franck Albers

Abstract

During the intensive European Cloud and Radiation Experiment 1994 (EUCREX’94) conducted off the coast of Brittany (France) over the Atlantic Ocean during April 1994, natural cirrus have been analyzed from in situ and remote sensing measurements. The authors have particularly studied the case of 17 April 1994. For this day a cirrus bank is described by a complete dataset, that is, classic airborne thermodynamical measurements, microphysical (forward scattering spectrometer probe) and OAP-2D2-C (optical array probe-cloud) probes manufactured by Particle Measuring System, and radiative (Barnes Precision Radiation Thermometer, Eppley pyranometers, and upward- and downward-looking pyrgeometers) measurements above and below the cloud. More specific airborne instruments were used such as upward backscatter lidar with polarization capabilities (LEANDRE) on board the Avion de Recherches Atmosphériques et Télédétection and the Polarization and Directionality of the Earth’s Reflectances (POLDER) radiometer on board the Falcon for measurement of bidirectional and polarized reflectances. The scene was also documented by NOAA-12/Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer data. However, the nonsphericity of cirrus ice crystals is clearly demonstrated by the lidar backscattering depolarization ratio measurements (Δp = 24%) and by the absence of any rainbow in POLDER bidirectional reflectances. A specular reflection of the solar light observed on POLDER images indicates the presence of horizontally oriented ice particles in the cloud. All these optical properties will be studied in a companion paper (Part II) and compared with optical properties derived from microphysical models in order to evaluate the radiative impact of natural cirrus clouds.

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Jean-François Gayet, Guy Febvre, Gerard Brogniez, Helene Chepfer, Wolfgang Renger, and Peter Wendling

Abstract

During the intensive International Cirrus Experiment conducted over the North Sea during fall 1989, natural cirrus and contrail-induced cirrus were analyzed from in situ and remote sensing measurements (lidar and infrared radiometer). These two cloud types primarily formed at the same range of altitude (8200 m, −37°C). Analysis of the measurements depicts distinctive microphysical and optical properties in the two types of cirrus. Natural cirrus exhibits sheared fallstreaks of ice crystals up to 750 µm in size near the base level. From the top to the base of this cloud the mean values of ice water content and particle concentration increase from 15 to 50 mg m−3 and from 26 to 60 L−1, respectively. The corresponding visible optical depth is around 2.0. Greatest particle concentration and smallest ice crystals are measured at all levels in contrails leading to an optical depth of 0.8 in the denser cloud despite an ice water content that never exceeds 18 mg m−3. These results are consistent with remote measurements from which the backscattering to extinction ratio k is deduced. The largest values of k (0.047 sr −1) are found in a young-life contrail and can be theoretically explained by a spherical shape of small ice crystals. Nonspherical ice particles with larger mean diameter are found in natural cirrus and lead to lower values of k (around 0.02 sr−1).

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Hélène Chepfer, Gérard Brogniez, Laurent Sauvage, Pierre H. Flamant, Vincent Trouillet, and Jacques Pelon

Abstract

In this paper, a quantitative analysis of in situ and radiative measurements concerning cirrus clouds is presented. These measurements were performed during the European Cloud and Radiative Experiment 1994 (EUCREX’94) as discussed in an earlier paper (Part I). The analyses are expressed in terms of cirrus microphysics structure. The complex microphysical structure of cirrus cloud is approximated by simple hexagonal monocrystalline particles (columns and plates) and by polycrystalline particles (randomized triadic Koch fractals of second generation) both arbitrarily oriented in space (3D). The authors have also considered hexagonal plates randomly oriented in horizontal planes with a tilted angle of 15° (2D). Radiative properties of cirrus cloud are analyzed, assuming that the cloud is composed of 3D ice crystals, by way of an adding–doubling code. For the hypothesis of 2D ice crystals, a modified successive order of scattering code has been used. The first order of scattering is calculated exactly using the scattering phase function of 2D crystals; for the higher orders, it is assumed that the same particles are 3D oriented. To explain the whole dataset, the most appropriate microphysics, in terms of radiative properties of cirrus clouds, is that of the 2D hexagonal plates whose aspect ratio (length divided by diameter) is 0.05.

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Jason M. English, Jennifer E. Kay, Andrew Gettelman, Xiaohong Liu, Yong Wang, Yuying Zhang, and Helene Chepfer

Abstract

The Arctic radiation balance is strongly affected by clouds and surface albedo. Prior work has identified Arctic cloud liquid water path (LWP) and surface radiative flux biases in the Community Atmosphere Model, version 5 (CAM5), and reductions to these biases with improved mixed-phase ice nucleation schemes. Here, CAM5 net top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Arctic radiative flux biases are quantified along with the contributions of clouds, surface albedos, and new mixed-phase ice nucleation schemes to these biases. CAM5 net TOA all-sky shortwave (SW) and outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) fluxes are generally within 10 W m−2 of Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System Energy Balanced and Filled (CERES-EBAF) observations. However, CAM5 has compensating SW errors: Surface albedos over snow are too high while cloud amount and LWP are too low. Use of a new CAM5 Cloud–Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) lidar simulator that corrects an error in the treatment of snow crystal size confirms insufficient cloud amount in CAM5 year-round. CAM5 OLR is too low because of low surface temperature in winter, excessive atmospheric water vapor in summer, and excessive cloud heights year-round. Simulations with two new mixed-phase ice nucleation schemes—one based on an empirical fit to ice nuclei observations and one based on classical nucleation theory with prognostic ice nuclei—improve surface climate in winter by increasing cloud amount and LWP. However, net TOA and surface radiation biases remain because of increases in midlevel clouds and a persistent deficit in cloud LWP. These findings highlight challenges with evaluating and modeling Arctic cloud, radiation, and climate processes.

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Anna E. Luebke, Julien Delanoë, Vincent Noel, Hélène Chepfer, and Bjorn Stevens
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Hélène Chepfer, Philippe Goloub, James Spinhirne, Pierre H. Flamant, Mario Lavorato, Laurent Sauvage, Gérard Brogniez, and Jacques Pelon

Abstract

Bidirectional polarized reflectances measured with the POLDER-1 instrument on board Advanced Earth Observing Satellite-1 have been used to infer cloud altitude and thermodynamical phase (ice/liquid) at a global scale. This paper presents a validation of these properties for cirrus clouds. The validation presented here is based on comparisons between POLDER-1 retrievals and measurements collected with a ground-based lidar network. The scale differences between POLDER measurements and lidar data are treated by selecting homogeneous and stable cloud layers.

These comparisons show that the cloud altitude retrieval with POLDER is valid for optically thick cloud, and nonvalid for semitransparent and thin cirrus clouds. The limitations of the cloud altitude retrieval method are analyzed by using both comparisons between POLDER and lidar and simulations of the bidirectional polarized reflectances performed with a radiative transfer code to assess a threshold of validity of the POLDER retrieval method. The comparisons of lidar and POLDER data show that the cloud thermodynamical phase (ice/liquid) retrieval is satisfactory, and examples of cloud thermodynamical phase retrieval are presented as a function of cloud temperatures.

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