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Bernadett Weinzierl, A. Ansmann, J. M. Prospero, D. Althausen, N. Benker, F. Chouza, M. Dollner, D. Farrell, W. K. Fomba, V. Freudenthaler, J. Gasteiger, S. Groß, M. Haarig, B. Heinold, K. Kandler, T. B. Kristensen, O. L. Mayol-Bracero, T. Müller, O. Reitebuch, D. Sauer, A. Schäfler, K. Schepanski, A. Spanu, I. Tegen, C. Toledano, and A. Walser

Abstract

North Africa is the world’s largest source of dust, a large part of which is transported across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and beyond where it can impact radiation and clouds. Many aspects of this transport and its climate effects remain speculative. The Saharan Aerosol Long-Range Transport and Aerosol–Cloud-Interaction Experiment (SALTRACE; www.pa.op.dlr.de/saltrace) linked ground-based and airborne measurements with remote sensing and modeling techniques to address these issues in a program that took place in 2013/14. Specific objectives were to 1) characterize the chemical, microphysical, and optical properties of dust in the Caribbean, 2) quantify the impact of physical and chemical changes (“aging”) on the radiation budget and cloud microphysical processes, 3) investigate the meteorological context of transatlantic dust transport, and 4) assess the roles of removal processes during transport.

SALTRACE was a German-led initiative involving scientists from Europe, Cabo Verde, the Caribbean, and the United States. The Falcon research aircraft of the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), equipped with a comprehensive aerosol and wind lidar payload, played a central role. Several major dust outbreaks were studied with 86 h of flight time under different conditions, making it by far the most extensive investigation on long-range transported dust ever made.

This article presents an overview of SALTRACE and highlights selected results including data from transatlantic flights in coherent air masses separated by more than 4,000-km distance that enabled measurements of transport effects on dust properties. SALTRACE will improve our knowledge on the role of mineral dust in the climate system and provide data for studies on dust interactions with clouds, radiation, and health.

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Robert M. Rauber, Bjorn Stevens, Jennifer Davison, Sabine Goke, Olga L. Mayol-Bracero, David Rogers, Paquita Zuidema, Harry T. Ochs III, Charles Knight, Jorgen Jensen, Sarah Bereznicki, Simona Bordoni, Humberto Caro-Gautier, Marilé Colón-Robles, Maylissa Deliz, Shaunna Donaher, Virendra Ghate, Ela Grzeszczak, Colleen Henry, Anne Marie Hertel, Ieng Jo, Michael Kruk, Jason Lowenstein, Judith Malley, Brian Medeiros, Yarilis Méndez-Lopez, Subhashree Mishra, Flavia Morales-García, Louise A. Nuijens, Dennis O'Donnell, Diana L. Ortiz-Montalvo, Kristen Rasmussen, Erin Riepe, Sarah Scalia, Efthymios Serpetzoglou, Haiwei Shen, Michael Siedsma, Jennifer Small, Eric Snodgrass, Panu Trivej, and Jonathan Zawislak

The Rain in Cumulus over the Ocean (RICO) field campaign carried out a wide array of educational activities, including a major first in a field project—a complete mission, including research flights, planned and executed entirely by students. This article describes the educational opportunities provided to the 24 graduate and 9 undergraduate students who participated in RICO.

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Robert M. Rauber, Bjorn Stevens, Harry T. Ochs III, Charles Knight, B. A. Albrecht, A. M. Blyth, C. W. Fairall, J. B. Jensen, S. G. Lasher-Trapp, O. L. Mayol-Bracero, G. Vali, J. R. Anderson, B. A. Baker, A. R. Bandy, E. Burnet, J.-L. Brenguier, W. A. Brewer, P. R. A. Brown, R Chuang, W. R. Cotton, L. Di Girolamo, B. Geerts, H. Gerber, S. Göke, L. Gomes, B. G. Heikes, J. G. Hudson, P. Kollias, R. R Lawson, S. K. Krueger, D. H. Lenschow, L. Nuijens, D. W. O'Sullivan, R. A. Rilling, D. C. Rogers, A. P. Siebesma, E. Snodgrass, J. L. Stith, D. C. Thornton, S. Tucker, C. H. Twohy, and P. Zuidema

Shallow, maritime cumuli are ubiquitous over much of the tropical oceans, and characterizing their properties is important to understanding weather and climate. The Rain in Cumulus over the Ocean (RICO) field campaign, which took place during November 2004–January 2005 in the trades over the western Atlantic, emphasized measurements of processes related to the formation of rain in shallow cumuli, and how rain subsequently modifies the structure and ensemble statistics of trade wind clouds. Eight weeks of nearly continuous S-band polarimetric radar sampling, 57 flights from three heavily instrumented research aircraft, and a suite of ground- and ship-based instrumentation provided data on trade wind clouds with unprecedented resolution. Observational strategies employed during RICO capitalized on the advances in remote sensing and other instrumentation to provide insight into processes that span a range of scales and that lie at the heart of questions relating to the cause and effects of rain from shallow maritime cumuli.

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Robert M. Rauber, Harry T. Ochs III, L. Di Girolamo, S. Göke, E. Snodgrass, Bjorn Stevens, Charles Knight, J. B. Jensen, D. H. Lenschow, R. A. Rilling, D. C. Rogers, J. L. Stith, B. A. Albrecht, P. Zuidema, A. M. Blyth, C. W. Fairall, W. A. Brewer, S. Tucker, S. G. Lasher-Trapp, O. L. Mayol-Bracero, G. Vali, B. Geerts, J. R. Anderson, B. A. Baker, R. P. Lawson, A. R. Bandy, D. C. Thornton, E. Burnet, J-L. Brenguier, L. Gomes, P. R. A. Brown, P. Chuang, W. R. Cotton, H. Gerber, B. G. Heikes, J. G. Hudson, P. Kollias, S. K. Krueger, L. Nuijens, D. W. O'Sullivan, A. P. Siebesma, and C. H. Twohy
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