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Miao-Ling Lu
and
John H. Seinfeld

Abstract

A total of 98 three-dimensional large-eddy simulations (LESs) of marine stratocumulus clouds covering both nighttime and daytime conditions were performed to explore the response of cloud optical depth (τ) to various aerosol number concentrations (Na = 50–2500 cm−3) and the covarying meteorological conditions (large-scale divergence rate and SST). The idealized First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) Regional Experiment (FIRE) and the Atlantic Stratocumulus Transition Experiment (ASTEX) Lagrangian 1 sounding profiles were used to represent the lightly and heavily drizzling cases, respectively. The first and second aerosol indirect effects are identified. Through statistical analysis, τ is found be to both positively correlated with Na and cloud liquid water path (LWP) with a higher correlation associated with LWP, which is predominantly regulated by large-scale subsidence and SST. Clouds with high LWP occur under low SST or weak large-scale subsidence. Introduction of a small amount of giant sea salt aerosol into the simulation lowers the number of cloud droplets activated, results in larger cloud droplets, and initiates precipitation for nondrizzling polluted clouds or precedes the precipitation process for drizzling clouds. However, giant sea salt aerosol is found to have a negligible effect on τ for lightly precipitating cases, while resulting in a relative reduction of τ of 3%–77% (increasing with Na , for Na = 1000–2500 cm−3) for heavily precipitating cases, suggesting that the impact of giant sea salt is only important for moist and potentially convective clouds. Finally, a regression analysis of the simulations shows that the second indirect effect is more evident in clear than polluted cases. The second indirect effect is found to enhance (reduce) the overall aerosol indirect effect for heavily (lightly) drizzling clouds; that is, τ is larger (smaller) for the same relative change in Na than considering the Twomey (first indirect) effect alone. The aerosol indirect effect (on τ) is lessened in the daytime afternoon conditions and is dominated by the Twomey effect; however, the effect in the early morning is close but slightly smaller than that in the nocturnal run. Diurnal variations of the aerosol indirect effect should be considered to accurately assess its magnitude.

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Miao-Ling Lu
,
Robert A. McClatchey
, and
John H. Seinfeld

Abstract

Significant enhancements in humidity around cumulus clouds, that is, the “cloud halos” observed in many aircraft penetrations, are simulated using a three-dimensional dynamic model. Five case studies show that humidity halos occur mainly near lateral cloud boundaries and also occur at cloud top and base when the cloud dissipates. The humidity halo broadens as the cloud ages and is also broader in the presence of wind shear than in its absence, especially on the downshear side of the cloud. The broadband calculation over the solar spectrum (0.2–4.0 μm) shows that the shortwave (SW) heating rate in the halo is about 11%–18% larger than the ambient environmental heating rate. The strongest halo-induced surface SW radiative forcing for all cases studied is about −0.2 W m−2, which is approximately a 0.02% change from the forcing without a halo.

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Miao-Ling Lu
,
Jian Wang
,
Richard C. Flagan
,
John H. Seinfeld
,
Andrew Freedman
,
Robert A. McClatchey
, and
Haflidi H. Jonsson

Abstract

Regions of enhanced humidity in the vicinity of cumulus clouds, so-called cloud halos, reflect features of cloud evolution, exert radiative effects, and may serve as a locus for new particle formation. Reported here are the results of an aircraft sampling campaign carried out near Oahu, Hawaii, from 31 July through 10 August 2001, aimed at characterizing the properties of trade wind cumulus cloud halos. An Aerodyne Research, Inc., fast spectroscopic water vapor sensor, flown for the first time in this campaign, allowed characterization of humidity properties at 10-m spatial resolution. Statistical properties of 60 traverses through cloud halos over the campaign were in general agreement with measurements reported by Perry and Hobbs. One particularly long-lived cloud is analyzed in detail, through both airborne measurement and numerical simulation, to track evolution of the cloud halos over the cloud's lifetime. Results of both observation and the simulation show that cloud halos tend to be broad at lower levels and narrow at upper levels, and broader on the downshear side than on the upshear side, broadening with time particularly in the downshear direction. The high correlation of clear-air turbulence distribution with the halo distribution temporally and spatially suggests that the halo forms, in part, due to turbulent mixing at the cloud boundary. Radiative calculations carried out on the simulated cloud and halo field indicate that the halo radiative effect is largest near cloud top during mature and dissipation stages. The halo-enhanced atmospheric shortwave absorption, averaged over this period, is about 1.3% of total solar absorption in the column.

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