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John P. Gallagher, Ian G. McKendry, Anne Marie Macdonald, and W. Richard Leaitch

Abstract

A mountain air chemistry observatory has been operational on the summit of Whistler Mountain in British Columbia, Canada, since 2002. A 1-yr dataset of condensation nuclei (CN) concentration from this site has been analyzed along with corresponding meteorological data to assess the frequency and patterns of influence from the planetary boundary layer (PBL). Characterization of air masses sampled from the site as either PBL influenced or representative of the free troposphere (FT) is important to subsequent analysis of the chemistry data. Median CN concentrations and seasonal trends were found to be comparable to other midlatitude mountain sites. Monthly median number concentrations ranged from 120 cm−3 in January to 1601 cm−3 in July. Using well-defined diurnal cycles in CN concentration as an indicator of air arriving from nearby valleys, PBL influence was found to occur on a majority of days during spring and summer and less frequently in late autumn and winter. Days with PBL influence were usually associated with synoptic-scale weather patterns that were conducive to convective mixing processes. Although more common in the warm season, vertical mixing capable of transporting valley air to the mountaintop also occurred in February during a period of high pressure aloft. In contrast, an August case study indicated that the more stable character of marine air masses can at times keep the PBL below the summit on summer days. Considerable variability in the synoptic-scale weather conditions at Whistler means that careful analysis of available datasets must be made to discriminate FT from PBL periods at the observatory.

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Julia Marshall, Ulrike Lohmann, W. Richard Leaitch, Nicole Shantz, Lisa Phinney, Desiree Toom-Sauntry, and Sangeeta Sharma

Abstract

In July 2002, atmospheric aerosol measurements were conducted over the northeast Pacific Ocean as part of the Subarctic Ecosystem Response to Iron Enhancement Study (SERIES). The following aerosol quantities were measured: particle number size distribution, particle scattering and backscattering coefficients at three wavelengths, particle absorption coefficient at one wavelength, and size-segregated particle chemical composition. Using Mie theory to calculate the aerosol particle scattering and absorption coefficients from the size distribution and chemical measurements, closure with the measured optical coefficients is not attained. Discrepancies between the calculated and measured scattering and backscattering coefficients are largely a result of the fact that the nephelometer measures scattering only between 7° and 170°. Over 90% of the total scattering and 50% of the backscattering in this study was not measured by the nephelometer because of the missing forward-scattering (0°–7°) and backscattering (170°–180°) segments of the phase function. During this study the majority of the total scattering and backscattering in the marine boundary layer of this region was a result of coarse particles consisting almost entirely of sea salt.

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John P. Gallagher, Ian G. McKendry, Paul W. Cottle, Anne Marie Macdonald, W. Richard Leaitch, and Kevin Strawbridge

Abstract

A ground-based lidar system that has been deployed in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, since the spring of 2010 provides a means of evaluating vertical aerosol structure in a mountainous environment. This information is used to help to determine when an air chemistry observatory atop Whistler Mountain (2182 m MSL) is within the free troposphere or is influenced by the valley-based planetary boundary layer (PBL). Three case studies are presented in which 1-day time series images of backscatter data from the lidar are analyzed along with concurrent meteorological and air-chemistry datasets from the mountaintop site. The cases were selected to illustrate different scenarios of diurnal PBL evolution that are expected to be common during their respective seasons. The lidar images corroborate assumptions about PBL influence as derived from analysis of diurnal trends in water vapor, condensation nuclei, and ozone. Use of all of these datasets together bolsters efforts to determine which atmospheric layer the site best represents, which is important when evaluating the provenance of air samples.

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John P. Gallagher, Ian G. McKendry, Kevin Strawbridge, Anne Marie Macdonald, W. Richard Leaitch, and Paul W. Cottle
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Dan Lubin, Damao Zhang, Israel Silber, Ryan C. Scott, Petros Kalogeras, Alessandro Battaglia, David H. Bromwich, Maria Cadeddu, Edwin Eloranta, Ann Fridlind, Amanda Frossard, Keith M. Hines, Stefan Kneifel, W. Richard Leaitch, Wuyin Lin, Julien Nicolas, Heath Powers, Patricia K. Quinn, Penny Rowe, Lynn M. Russell, Sangeeta Sharma, Johannes Verlinde, and Andrew M. Vogelmann
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Dan Lubin, Damao Zhang, Israel Silber, Ryan C. Scott, Petros Kalogeras, Alessandro Battaglia, David H. Bromwich, Maria Cadeddu, Edwin Eloranta, Ann Fridlind, Amanda Frossard, Keith M. Hines, Stefan Kneifel, W. Richard Leaitch, Wuyin Lin, Julien Nicolas, Heath Powers, Patricia K. Quinn, Penny Rowe, Lynn M. Russell, Sangeeta Sharma, Johannes Verlinde, and Andrew M. Vogelmann

Abstract

The U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE) performed comprehensive meteorological and aerosol measurements and ground-based atmospheric remote sensing at two Antarctic stations using the most advanced instrumentation available. A suite of cloud research radars, lidars, spectral and broadband radiometers, aerosol chemical and microphysical sampling equipment, and meteorological instrumentation was deployed at McMurdo Station on Ross Island from December 2015 through December 2016. A smaller suite of radiometers and meteorological equipment, including radiosondes optimized for surface energy budget measurement, was deployed on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet between 4 December 2015 and 17 January 2016. AWARE provided Antarctic atmospheric data comparable to several well-instrumented high Arctic sites that have operated for many years and that reveal numerous contrasts with the Arctic in aerosol and cloud microphysical properties. These include persistent differences in liquid cloud occurrence, cloud height, and cloud thickness. Antarctic aerosol properties are also quite different from the Arctic in both seasonal cycle and composition, due to the continent’s isolation from lower latitudes by Southern Ocean storm tracks. Antarctic aerosol number and mass concentrations are not only non-negligible but perhaps play a more important role than previously recognized because of the higher sensitivities of clouds at the very low concentrations caused by the large-scale dynamical isolation. Antarctic aerosol chemical composition, particularly organic components, has implications for local cloud microphysics. The AWARE dataset, fully available online in the ARM Program data archive, offers numerous case studies for unique and rigorous evaluation of mixed-phase cloud parameterization in climate models.

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Indirect and Semi-direct Aerosol Campaign

The Impact of Arctic Aerosols on Clouds

Greg M. McFarquhar, Steven Ghan, Johannes Verlinde, Alexei Korolev, J. Walter Strapp, Beat Schmid, Jason M. Tomlinson, Mengistu Wolde, Sarah D. Brooks, Dan Cziczo, Manvendra K. Dubey, Jiwen Fan, Connor Flynn, Ismail Gultepe, John Hubbe, Mary K. Gilles, Alexander Laskin, Paul Lawson, W. Richard Leaitch, Peter Liu, Xiaohong Liu, Dan Lubin, Claudio Mazzoleni, Ann-Marie Macdonald, Ryan C. Moffet, Hugh Morrison, Mikhail Ovchinnikov, Matthew D. Shupe, David D. Turner, Shaocheng Xie, Alla Zelenyuk, Kenny Bae, Matt Freer, and Andrew Glen

Abstract

A comprehensive dataset of microphysical and radiative properties of aerosols and clouds in the boundary layer in the vicinity of Barrow, Alaska, was collected in April 2008 during the Indirect and Semi-Direct Aerosol Campaign (ISDAC). ISDAC's primary aim was to examine the effects of aerosols, including those generated by Asian wildfires, on clouds that contain both liquid and ice. ISDAC utilized the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Pro- gram's permanent observational facilities at Barrow and specially deployed instruments measuring aerosol, ice fog, precipitation, and radiation. The National Research Council of Canada Convair-580 flew 27 sorties and collected data using an unprecedented 41 stateof- the-art cloud and aerosol instruments for more than 100 h on 12 different days. Aerosol compositions, including fresh and processed sea salt, biomassburning particles, organics, and sulfates mixed with organics, varied between flights. Observations in a dense arctic haze on 19 April and above, within, and below the single-layer stratocumulus on 8 and 26 April are enabling a process-oriented understanding of how aerosols affect arctic clouds. Inhomogeneities in reflectivity, a close coupling of upward and downward Doppler motion, and a nearly constant ice profile in the single-layer stratocumulus suggests that vertical mixing is responsible for its longevity observed during ISDAC. Data acquired in cirrus on flights between Barrow and Fairbanks, Alaska, are improving the understanding of the performance of cloud probes in ice. Ultimately, ISDAC data will improve the representation of cloud and aerosol processes in models covering a variety of spatial and temporal scales, and determine the extent to which surface measurements can provide retrievals of aerosols, clouds, precipitation, and radiative heating.

A supplement to this article is available online:

DOI: 10.1175/2010BAMS2935.2

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