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Peter M. Norris and Arlindo M. da Silva

Abstract

General circulation models are unable to resolve subgrid-scale moisture variability and associated cloudiness and so must parameterize grid-scale cloud properties. This typically involves various empirical assumptions and a failure to capture the full range (synoptic, geographic, diurnal) of the subgrid-scale variability. A variational parameter estimation technique is employed to adjust empirical model cloud parameters in both space and time, in order to better represent assimilated International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) cloud fraction and optical depth and Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) liquid water path. The value of these adjustments is verified by much improved cloud radiative forcing and persistent improvement in cloud fraction forecasts.

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David P. Rogers, Xiaohua Yang, Peter M. Norris, Douglas W. Johnson, Gill M. Martin, Carl A. Friehe, and Bradford W. Berger

Abstract

The structure and evolution of the extratropical marine atmosphere boundary layer (MABL) depend largely on the variability of stratus and stratocumulus clouds. Stratus clouds are generally associated with a well-mixed MABL, whereas daytime observations of stratocumulus-topped boundary layers generally indicate that the cloud and subcloud layers are decoupled. In the Atlantic Stratocumulus Transition Experiment, aircraft measurements show a surface-based mixed layer separated from the base of the stratocumulus by a layer that is stable to dry turbulent mixing. This layer forms due to shortwave heating of the stratocumulus clouds. Cumulus clouds often develop in this transition layer and they play a fundamental role in the redistribution of heat in the decoupled stratcumulus-capped boundary layer. They are, however, very sensitive to small changes in the heat and moisture in the boundary layer and are generally transient features that depend directly on the surface sensible and latent heat fluxes. The cumulus contribute a bimodal drop-size distribution to the stratocumulus layer skewed to the smallest sizes but may contain many large drops. Clouds increase at night in response to the combined effect of convection, which can transport drops to the top of the MABL, and outgoing longwave radiation, which cools the boundary layer. The relationship between the cumulus clouds and the latent heat flux is complex. Small cumulus may enhance the flux, but as more water vapor is redistributed vertically by an increase in convective activity the latent heat flux decreases.

This study illustrates the need for boundary-layer models to properly handle the occurrence of intermittent cumulus to predict the diurnal evolution of the stratocumulus-capped MABL.

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Ian M. Brooks, Margaret J. Yelland, Robert C. Upstill-Goddard, Philip D. Nightingale, Steve Archer, Eric d'Asaro, Rachael Beale, Cory Beatty, Byron Blomquist, A. Anthony Bloom, Barbara J. Brooks, John Cluderay, David Coles, John Dacey, Michael Degrandpre, Jo Dixon, William M. Drennan, Joseph Gabriele, Laura Goldson, Nick Hardman-Mountford, Martin K. Hill, Matt Horn, Ping-Chang Hsueh, Barry Huebert, Gerrit De Leeuw, Timothy G. Leighton, Malcolm Liddicoat, Justin J. N. Lingard, Craig Mcneil, James B. Mcquaid, Ben I. Moat, Gerald Moore, Craig Neill, Sarah J. Norris, Simon O'Doherty, Robin W. Pascal, John Prytherch, Mike Rebozo, Erik Sahlee, Matt Salter, Ute Schuster, Ingunn Skjelvan, Hans Slagter, Michael H. Smith, Paul D. Smith, Meric Srokosz, John A. Stephens, Peter K. Taylor, Maciej Telszewski, Roisin Walsh, Brian Ward, David K. Woolf, Dickon Young, and Henk Zemmelink

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Ian M. Brooks, Margaret J. Yelland, Robert C. Upstill-Goddard, Philip D. Nightingale, Steve Archer, Eric d'Asaro, Rachael Beale, Cory Beatty, Byron Blomquist, A. Anthony Bloom, Barbara J. Brooks, John Cluderay, David Coles, John Dacey, Michael DeGrandpre, Jo Dixon, William M. Drennan, Joseph Gabriele, Laura Goldson, Nick Hardman-Mountford, Martin K. Hill, Matt Horn, Ping-Chang Hsueh, Barry Huebert, Gerrit de Leeuw, Timothy G. Leighton, Malcolm Liddicoat, Justin J. N. Lingard, Craig McNeil, James B. McQuaid, Ben I. Moat, Gerald Moore, Craig Neill, Sarah J. Norris, Simon O'Doherty, Robin W. Pascal, John Prytherch, Mike Rebozo, Erik Sahlee, Matt Salter, Ute Schuster, Ingunn Skjelvan, Hans Slagter, Michael H. Smith, Paul D. Smith, Meric Srokosz, John A. Stephens, Peter K. Taylor, Maciej Telszewski, Roisin Walsh, Brian Ward, David K. Woolf, Dickon Young, and Henk Zemmelink

As part of the U.K. contribution to the international Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Study, a series of three related projects—DOGEE, SEASAW, and HiWASE—undertook experimental studies of the processes controlling the physical exchange of gases and sea spray aerosol at the sea surface. The studies share a common goal: to reduce the high degree of uncertainty in current parameterization schemes. The wide variety of measurements made during the studies, which incorporated tracer and surfactant release experiments, included direct eddy correlation fluxes, detailed wave spectra, wind history, photographic retrievals of whitecap fraction, aerosolsize spectra and composition, surfactant concentration, and bubble populations in the ocean mixed layer. Measurements were made during three cruises in the northeast Atlantic on the RRS Discovery during 2006 and 2007; a fourth campaign has been making continuous measurements on the Norwegian weather ship Polarfront since September 2006. This paper provides an overview of the three projects and some of the highlights of the measurement campaigns.

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