middle cloud layer: Topics by Science.gov

  • Seasonally Transported Aerosol Layers Over Southeast Atlantic are Closer to Underlying Clouds than Previously Reported

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rajapakshe, Chamara; Zhang, Zhibo; Yorks, John E.; Yu, Hongbin; Tan, Qian; Meyer, Kerry; Platnick, Steven; Winker, David M.

    2017-01-01

    From June to October, low-level clouds in the southeast (SE) Atlantic often underlie seasonal aerosol layers transported from African continent. Previously, the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) 532 nm lidar observations have been used to estimate the relative vertical location of the above-cloud aerosols (ACA) to the underlying clouds. Here we show new observations from NASA’s Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) lidar. Two seasons of CATS 1064 nm observations reveal that the bottom of the ACA layer is much lower than previously estimated based on CALIPSO 532 nm observations. For about 60% of CATS nighttime ACA scenes, the aerosol layer base is within 360 m distance to the top of the underlying cloud. Our results are important for future studies of the microphysical indirect and semidirect effects of ACA in the SE Atlantic region.

  • Observation of Upper and Middle Tropospheric Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cox, Stephen K.

    1996-01-01

    The goal of this research has been to identify and describe the properties of climatically important cloud systems critically important to understanding their effects upon satellite remote sensing and the global climate. These goals have been pursued along several different but complementary lines of investigation: the design, construction, testing and application of instrumentation; the collection of data sets during Intensive Field Observation periods; the reduction and analysis of data collected during IFO’s; and completion of research projects specifically designed to address important and timely research objectives. In the first year covered by this research proposal, three papers were authored in the refereed literature which reported completed analyses of FIRE 1 IFO studies initiated under the previous NASA funding of this topic area. microphysical and radiative properties of marine stratocumulus cloud systems deduced from tethered balloon observations were reported from the San Nicolas Island site of the first FIRE marine stratocumulus experiment. Likewise, in situ observations of radiation and dynamic properties of a cirrus cloud layer were reported from first FIRE cirrus IFO based from Madison, Wisconsin. In addition, application techniques were under development for monitoring cirrus cloud systems using a 403 MHz Doppler wind profiler system adapted with a RASS (Radio Acoustic Sounding System) and an infrared interferometer system; these instrument systems were used in subsequent deployments for the FIRE 2 Parsons, Kansas and FIRE 2 Porto Santo, ASTEX expeditions. In November 1991 and in June 1992, these two systems along with a complete complement of surface radiation and meteorology measurements were deployed to the two sites noted above as anchor points for the respective IFO’S. Subsequent research activity concentrated on the interpretation and integration of the IFO analyses in the context of the radiative properties of cloud systems and our ability

  • Dynamic Turbulence Modelling in Large-eddy Simulations of the Cloud-topped Atmospheric Boundary Layer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirkpatrick, M. P.; Mansour, N. N.; Ackerman, A. S.; Stevens, D. E.

    2003-01-01

    The use of large eddy simulation, or LES, to study the atmospheric boundary layer dates back to the early 1970s when Deardor (1972) used a three-dimensional simulation to determine velocity and temperature scales in the convective boundary layer. In 1974 he applied LES to the problem of mixing layer entrainment (Deardor 1974) and in 1980 to the cloud-topped boundary layer (Deardor 1980b). Since that time the LES approach has been applied to atmospheric boundary layer problems by numerous authors. While LES has been shown to be relatively robust for simple cases such as a clear, convective boundary layer (Mason 1989), simulation of the cloud-topped boundary layer has proved more of a challenge. The combination of small length scales and anisotropic turbulence coupled with cloud microphysics and radiation effects places a heavy burden on the turbulence model, especially in the cloud-top region. Consequently, over the past few decades considerable effort has been devoted to developing turbulence models that are better able to parameterize these processes. Much of this work has involved taking parameterizations developed for neutral boundary layers and deriving corrections to account for buoyancy effects associated with the background stratification and local buoyancy sources due to radiative and latent heat transfer within the cloud (see Lilly 1962; Deardor 1980a; Mason 1989; MacVean & Mason 1990, for example). In this paper we hope to contribute to this effort by presenting a number of turbulence models in which the model coefficients are calculated dynamically during the simulation rather than being prescribed a priori.

  • Intercomparisons of marine boundary layer cloud properties from the ARM CAP-MBL campaign and two MODIS cloud products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhibo; Dong, Xiquan; Xi, Baike; Song, Hua; Ma, Po-Lun; Ghan, Steven J.; Platnick, Steven; Minnis, Patrick

    2017-02-01

    From April 2009 to December 2010, the Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program carried out an observational field campaign on Graciosa Island, targeting the marine boundary layer (MBL) clouds over the Azores region. In this paper, we present an intercomparison of the MBL cloud properties, namely, cloud liquid water path (LWP), cloud optical thickness (COT), and cloud-droplet effective radius (CER), among retrievals from the ARM mobile facility and two Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) cloud products (Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)-MODIS and Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System-MODIS). A total of 63 daytime single-layer MBL cloud cases are selected for intercomparison. Comparison of collocated retrievals indicates that the two MODIS cloud products agree well on both COT and CER retrievals, with the correlation coefficient R > 0.95, despite their significant difference in spatial sampling. In both MODIS products, the CER retrievals based on the 2.1 µm band (CER2.1) are significantly larger than those based on the 3.7 µm band (CER3.7). The GSFC-MODIS cloud product is collocated and compared with ground-based ARM observations at several temporal-spatial scales. In general, the correlation increases with more precise collocation. For the 63 selected MBL cloud cases, the GSFC-MODIS LWP and COT retrievals agree reasonably well with the ground-based observations with no apparent bias and correlation coefficient R around 0.85 and 0.70, respectively. However, GSFC-MODIS CER3.7 and CER2.1 retrievals have a lower correlation (R 0.5) with the ground-based retrievals. For the 63 selected cases, they are on average larger than ground observations by about 1.5 µm and 3.0 µm, respectively. Taking into account that the MODIS CER retrievals are only sensitive to cloud top reduces the bias only by 0.5 µm.

  • Intercomparison of cloud model simulations of Arctic mixed-phase boundary layer clouds observed during SHEBA/FIRE-ACE

    SciTech Connect

    Morrison, H.; Zuidema, Paquita; Ackerman, Andrew

    2011-06-16

    An intercomparison of six cloud-resolving and large-eddy simulation models is presented. This case study is based on observations of a persistent mixed-phase boundary layer cloud gathered on 7 May, 1998 from the Surface Heat Budget of Arctic Ocean (SHEBA) and First ISCCP Regional Experiment – Arctic Cloud Experiment (FIRE-ACE). Ice nucleation is constrained in the simulations in a way that holds the ice crystal concentration approximately fixed, with two sets of sensitivity runs in addition to the baseline simulations utilizing different specified ice nucleus (IN) concentrations. All of the baseline and sensitivity simulations group into two distinct quasi-steady states associatedmore » with either persistent mixed-phase clouds or all-ice clouds after the first few hours of integration, implying the existence of multiple equilibria. These two states are associated with distinctly different microphysical, thermodynamic, and radiative characteristics. Most but not all of the models produce a persistent mixed-phase cloud qualitatively similar to observations using the baseline IN/crystal concentration, while small increases in the IN/crystal concentration generally lead to rapid glaciation and conversion to the all-ice state. Budget analysis indicates that larger ice deposition rates associated with increased IN/crystal concentrations have a limited direct impact on dissipation of liquid in these simulations. However, the impact of increased ice deposition is greatly enhanced by several interaction pathways that lead to an increased surface precipitation flux, weaker cloud top radiative cooling and cloud dynamics, and reduced vertical mixing, promoting rapid glaciation of the mixed-phase cloud for deposition rates in the cloud layer greater than about 1-2×10-5 g kg-1 s-1. These results indicate the critical importance of precipitation-radiative-dynamical interactions in simulating cloud phase, which have been neglected in previous fixed-dynamical parcel studies of

  • Coupled Sulfur and Chlorine Chemistry in Venus’ Upper Cloud Layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mills, Franklin P.

    2006-09-01

    Venus’ atmosphere likely contains a rich variety of sulfur and chlorine compounds because HCl, SO2, and OCS have all been observed. Photodissociation of CO2 and SO2 in the upper cloud layer produces oxygen which can react directly or indirectly with SO2 to form SO3 and eventually H2SO4. Photodissociation of HCl within and above the upper cloud layer produces chlorine which can react with CO and O2 to form ClCO and ClC(O)OO. These two species have been identified as potentially critical intermediaries in the production of CO2. Much less work has been done on the potential coupling between sulfur and chlorine chemistry that may occur within the upper cloud layer. Several aspects have been examined in recent modeling: (1) linkage of the CO2 and sulfur oxidation cycles (based on ideas from Yung and DeMore, 1982), (2) reaction of Cl with SO2 to form ClSO2 (based on ideas from DeMore et al., 1985), and (3) the chemistry of SmCln for m,n = 1,2 (based on preliminary work in Mills, 1998). Initial results suggest the chemistry of SmCln may provide a pathway for accelerated production of polysulfur, Sx, if the oxygen abundance in the upper cloud layer is as small as is implied by the observational limit on O2 (Trauger and Lunine, 1983). Initial results also suggest that ClSO2 can act as a buffer which helps increase the scale height of SO2 and decrease the rate of production of H2SO4. This presentation will describe the results from this modeling; discuss their potential implications for the CO2, sulfur oxidation, and polysulfur cycles; and outline key observations from Venus Express that can help resolve existing questions concerning the chemistry of Venus’ upper cloud. Partial funding for this research was provided by the Australian Research Council.

  • Height Distribution Between Cloud and Aerosol Layers from the GLAS Spaceborne Lidar in the Indian Ocean Region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hart, William D.; Spinhirne, James D.; Palm, Steven P.; Hlavka, Dennis L.

    2005-01-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS), a nadir pointing lidar on the Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) launched in 2003, now provides important new global measurements of the relationship between the height distribution of cloud and aerosol layers. GLAS data have the capability to detect, locate, and distinguish between cloud and aerosol layers in the atmosphere up to 40 km altitude. The data product algorithm tests the product of the maximum attenuated backscatter coefficient b'(r) and the vertical gradient of b'(r) within a layer against a predetermined threshold. An initial case result for the critical Indian Ocean region is presented. From the results the relative height distribution between collocated aerosol and cloud shows extensive regions where cloud formation is well within dense aerosol scattering layers at the surface. Citation: Hart, W. D., J. D. Spinhime, S. P. Palm, and D. L. Hlavka (2005), Height distribution between cloud and aerosol layers from the GLAS spaceborne lidar in the Indian Ocean region,

  • Stratospheric effects on trends of mesospheric ice clouds (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luebken, F.; Baumgarten, G.; Berger, U.

    2009-12-01

    Ice layers in the summer mesosphere at middle and polar latitudes appear as `noctilucent clouds’ (NLC) and `polar mesosphere clouds'(PMC) when observed by optical methods from the ground or from satellites, respectively. A newly developed model of the atmosphere called LIMA (Leibniz Institute Middle Atmosphere Model) nicely reproduces the mean conditions of the summer mesopause region and is used to study the ice layer morphology (LIMA/ice). LIMA nudges to ECMWF data in the troposphere and lower stratosphere which influences the background conditions in the mesosphere and ice cloud morphology. Since ice layer formation is very sensitive to the thermal structure of the mesopause region the morphology of NLC and PMC is frequently discussed in terms of long term variations. Model runs of LIMA/ice are now available for 1961 until 2008. A strong correlation between temperatures and PMC altitudes is observed. Applied to historical measurements this gives negligible temperature trends at PMC altitudes (approximately 0.01-0.02 K/y). Trace gas concentrations are kept constant in LIMA except for water vapor which is modified by variable solar radiation. Still, long term trends in temperatures and ice layer parameters are observed, consistent with observations. We present results regarding inter-annual variability of upper mesosphere temperatures, water vapor, and ice clouds, and also long term variations. We compare our model results with satellite borne and lidar observations including some record high NLC parameters measured in the summer season of 2009. The latitudinal dependence of trends and ice layer parameters is discussed, including a NH/SH comparison. We will present an explanation of the trends in the background atmosphere and ice layer parameters.

  • Intercomparisons of Marine Boundary Layer Cloud Properties from the ARM CAP-MBL Campaign and Two MODIS Cloud Products

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhang, Zhibo; Dong, Xiquan; Xi, Baike; Song, Hua; Ma, Po-Lun; Ghan, Steven J.; Platnick, Steven; Minnis, Patrick

    2017-01-01

    From April 2009 to December 2010, the Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program carried out an observational field campaign on Graciosa Island, targeting the marine boundary layer (MBL) clouds over the Azores region. In this paper, we present an inter-comparison of the MBL cloud properties, namely, cloud liquid water path (LWP), cloud optical thickness (COT) and cloud-droplet effective radius (CER), among retrievals from the ARM mobile facility (AMF) and two Moderate Resolution Spectroradiometer (MODIS) cloud products (GSFC-MODIS and CERES-MODIS). A total of 63 daytime single-layer MBL cloud cases are selected for inter-comparison. Comparison of collocated retrievals indicates that the two MODIS cloud products agree well on both COT and CER retrievals, with the correlation coefficient R greater than 0.95 despite their significant difference in spatial sampling. In both MODIS products, the CER retrievals based on the 2.1 micrometers band (CER(sub 2.1)) is significantly smaller than that based on the 3.7 micrometers band (CER(sub 3.7)). The GSFC-MODIS cloud product is collocated and compared with ground-based ARM observations at several temporal spatial scales. In general, the correlation increases with more precise collocation. For the 63 selected MBL cloud cases, the GSFC-MODIS LWP and COT retrievals agree reasonably well with the ground-based observations with no apparent bias and correlation coefficient R around 0.85 and 0.70, respectively. However, GSFC-MODIS CER(sub 3.7) and CER(sub 2.1) retrievals have a lower correlation (R is approximately 0.5) with the ground-based retrievals. For the 63 selected cases, they are on average larger than ground observations by about 1.5 micrometers and 3.0 micrometers, respectively. Taking into account that the MODIS CER retrievals are only sensitive to cloud top reduces the bias only by 0.5 micrometers.

  • A Climatology of Midlatitude Continental Clouds from the ARM SGP Site. Part II; Cloud Fraction and Surface Radiative Forcing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Xi, B.; Minnis, P.

    2006-01-01

    Data collected at the Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) Central Facility (SCF) are analyzed to determine the monthly and hourly variations of cloud fraction and radiative forcing between January 1997 and December 2002. Cloud fractions are estimated for total cloud cover and for single-layered low (0-3 km), middle (3-6 km), and high clouds (more than 6 km) using ARM SCG ground-based paired lidar-radar measurements. Shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) fluxes are derived from up- and down-looking standard precision spectral pyranometers and precision infrared radiometer measurements with uncertainties of approximately 10 Wm(exp -2). The annual averages of total, and single-layered low, middle and high cloud fractions are 0.49, 0.11, 0.03, and 0.17, respectively. Both total and low cloud amounts peak during January and February and reach a minimum during July and August, high clouds occur more frequently than other types of clouds with a peak in summer. The average annual downwelling surface SW fluxes for total and low clouds (151 and 138 Wm(exp-2), respectively) are less than those under middle and high clouds (188 and 201 Wm(exp -2), respectively), but the downwelling LW fluxes (349 and 356 Wm(exp -2)) underneath total and low clouds are greater than those from middle and high clouds (337 and 333 Wm(exp -2)). Low clouds produce the largest LW warming (55 Wm(exp -2) and SW cooling (-91 Wm(exp -2)) effects with maximum and minimum absolute values in spring and summer, respectively. High clouds have the smallest LW warming (17 Wm(exp -2)) and SW cooling (-37 Wm(exp -2)) effects at the surface. All-sky SW CRF decreases and LW CRF increases with increasing cloud fraction with mean slopes of -0.984 and 0.616 Wm(exp -2)%(exp -1), respectively. Over the entire diurnal cycle, clouds deplete the amount of surface insolation more than they add to the downwelling LW flux. The calculated CRFs do not appear to be significantly

  • The evolution of nocturnal boundary-layer clouds in southern West Africa – a case study from DACCIWA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adler, Bianca; Kalthoff, Norbert; Babić, Karmen; Lohou, Fabienne; Dione, Cheikh; Lothon, Marie; Pedruzo-Bagazgoitia, Xabier

    2017-04-01

    During the monsoon season, the atmospheric boundary layer in southern West Africa is characterised by various kinds of low-level clouds which experience a distinct diurnal cycle. During the night, extensive low-level stratiform clouds frequently form with a cloud base often less than few hundred metres above ground. After sunrise the cloud base slowly starts rising and eventually a transition to convective clouds occurs. While the existence of the clouds is documented in satellite images and synoptic observations, little is known about the mechanisms controlling their evolution. To provide observational evidence, a field campaign was conducted in southern West Africa in June and July 2016 within the framework of the Dynamics-aerosol-chemistry-cloud interactions in West Africa (DACCIWA) project. Comprehensive ground-based in situ and remote sensing measurements were performed at three different supersites in Ghana, Benin and Nigeria. In this contribution, we present the diurnal cycle of boundary-layer clouds for a typical day using data from a supersite at Savè in Benin. Due to the synergy of various instruments, we are able to obtain detailed information on the evolution of the clouds as well as on the boundary-layer structure with high temporal and vertical resolution. By combining ceilometer, cloud radar and microwave radiometer data we determined the cloud base, -depth and -density. The clouds form in the same layer as a nocturnal low-level jet (NLLJ), which we probe by sodar and UHF profiler. There is evidence for a strong link between the height and strength of the NLLJ and the density of the nocturnal clouds.

  • Winds in the Middle Cloud Deck From the Near-IR Imaging by the Venus Monitoring Camera Onboard Venus Express

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khatuntsev, I. V.; Patsaeva, M. V.; Titov, D. V.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Turin, A. V.; Fedorova, A. A.; Markiewicz, W. J.

    2017-11-01

    For more than 8 years the Venus Monitoring Camera (VMC) onboard the Venus Express orbiter performed continuous imaging of the Venus cloud layer in UV, visible and near-IR filters. We applied the correlation approach to sequences of the near-IR images at 965 nm to track cloud features and determine the wind field in the middle and lower cloud (49-57 km). From the VMC images that spanned from December of 2006 through August of 2013 we derived zonal and meridional components of the wind field. In low-to-middle latitudes (5-65°S) the velocity of the retrograde zonal wind was found to be 68-70 m/s. The meridional wind velocity slowly decreases from peak value of +5.8 ± 1.2 m/s at 15°S to 0 at 65-70°S. The mean meridional speed has a positive sign at 5-65°S suggesting equatorward flow. This result, together with the earlier measurements of the poleward flow at the cloud tops, indicates the presence of a closed Hadley cell in the altitude range 55-65 km. Long-term variations of zonal and meridional velocity components were found during 1,200 Earth days of observation. At 20° ± 5°S the zonal wind speed increases from -67.18 ± 1.81 m/s to -77.30 ± 2.49 m/s. The meridional wind gradually increases from +1.30 ± 1.82 m/s to +8.53 ± 2.14 m/s. Following Bertaux et al. (2016) we attribute this long-term trend to the influence from the surface topography on the dynamical process in the atmosphere via the upward propagation of gravity waves that became apparent in the VMC observations due to slow drift of the Venus Express orbit over Aphrodite Terra.

  • Single-Column Model Simulations of Subtropical Marine Boundary-Layer Cloud Transitions Under Weakening Inversions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neggers, R. A. J.; Ackerman, A. S.; Angevine, W. M.; Bazile, E.; Beau, I.; Blossey, P. N.; Boutle, I. A.; de Bruijn, C.; Cheng, A.; van der Dussen, J.; Fletcher, J.; Dal Gesso, S.; Jam, A.; Kawai, H.; Cheedela, S. K.; Larson, V. E.; Lefebvre, M.-P.; Lock, A. P.; Meyer, N. R.; de Roode, S. R.; de Rooy, W.; Sandu, I.; Xiao, H.; Xu, K.-M.

    2017-10-01

    Results are presented of the GASS/EUCLIPSE single-column model intercomparison study on the subtropical marine low-level cloud transition. A central goal is to establish the performance of state-of-the-art boundary-layer schemes for weather and climate models for this cloud regime, using large-eddy simulations of the same scenes as a reference. A novelty is that the comparison covers four different cases instead of one, in order to broaden the covered parameter space. Three cases are situated in the North-Eastern Pacific, while one reflects conditions in the North-Eastern Atlantic. A set of variables is considered that reflects key aspects of the transition process, making use of simple metrics to establish the model performance. Using this method, some longstanding problems in low-level cloud representation are identified. Considerable spread exists among models concerning the cloud amount, its vertical structure, and the associated impact on radiative transfer. The sign and amplitude of these biases differ somewhat per case, depending on how far the transition has progressed. After cloud breakup the ensemble median exhibits the well-known “too few too bright” problem. The boundary-layer deepening rate and its state of decoupling are both underestimated, while the representation of the thin capping cloud layer appears complicated by a lack of vertical resolution. Encouragingly, some models are successful in representing the full set of variables, in particular, the vertical structure and diurnal cycle of the cloud layer in transition. An intriguing result is that the median of the model ensemble performs best, inspiring a new approach in subgrid parameterization.

  • Integration of hybrid wireless networks in cloud services oriented enterprise information systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Shancang; Xu, Lida; Wang, Xinheng; Wang, Jue

    2012-05-01

    This article presents a hybrid wireless network integration scheme in cloud services-based enterprise information systems (EISs). With the emerging hybrid wireless networks and cloud computing technologies, it is necessary to develop a scheme that can seamlessly integrate these new technologies into existing EISs. By combining the hybrid wireless networks and computing in EIS, a new framework is proposed, which includes frontend layer, middle layer and backend layers connected to IP EISs. Based on a collaborative architecture, cloud services management framework and process diagram are presented. As a key feature, the proposed approach integrates access control functionalities within the hybrid framework that provide users with filtered views on available cloud services based on cloud service access requirements and user security credentials. In future work, we will implement the proposed framework over SwanMesh platform by integrating the UPnP standard into an enterprise information system.

  • Surface Layer Flux Processes During Cloud Intermittency and Advection above a Middle Rio Grande Riparian Forest, New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleverly, J. R.; Prueger, J.; Cooper, D. I.; Hipps, L.; Eichinger, W.

    2002-12-01

    An intensive field campaign was undertaken to bring together state-of-the-art methodologies for investigating surface layer physical characteristics over a desert riparian forest. Three-dimensional sonic eddy covariance (3SEC), LIDAR, SODAR, Radiosonde, one-dimensional propeller eddy covariance (1PEC), heat dissipation sap flux, and leaf gas exchange were simultaneously in use 13 — 21 June 1999 at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in New Mexico. A one hour period of intense advection was identified by /line{v} >> 0 and /line{u} = 0, indicating that wind direction was transverse to the riparian corridor. The period of highest /line{v} was 1400 h on 20 June; this hour experienced intermittent cloud cover and enhanced mesoscale forcing of surface fluxes. High-frequency (20 Hz) time series of u, v, w, q, θ , and T were collected for spectral, cospectral, and wavelet analyses. These time series analyses illustrate scales at which processes co-occur. At high frequencies (> 0.015 Hz), /line{T’ q’} > 0, and (KH)/ (KW) = 1. At low frequencies, however, /line{T’ q’} cloud cover. Further cloud cover in the same hour did not produce the low

  • Shallow marine cloud topped boundary layer in atmospheric models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janjic, Zavisa

    2017-04-01

    A common problem in many atmospheric models is excessive expansion over cold water of shallow marine planetary boundary layer (PBL) topped by a thin cloud layer. This phenomenon is often accompanied by spurious light precipitation. The “Cloud Top Entrainment Instability” (CTEI) was proposed as an explanation of the mechanism controlling this process in reality thereby preventing spurious enlargement of the cloudy area and widely spread light precipitation observed in the models. A key element of this hypothesis is evaporative cooling at the PBL top. However, the CTEI hypothesis remains controversial. For example, a recent direct simulation experiment indicated that the evaporative cooling couldn’t explain the break-up of the cloudiness as hypothesized by the CTEI. Here, it is shown that the cloud break-up can be achieved in numerical models by a further modification of the nonsingular implementation of the Mellor-Yamada Level 2.5 turbulence closure model (MYJ) developed at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Washington. Namely, the impact of moist convective instability is included into the turbulent energy production/dissipation equation if (a) the stratification is stable, (b) the lifting condensation level (LCL) for a particle starting at a model level is below the next upper model level, and (c) there is enough turbulent kinetic energy so that, due to random vertical turbulent motions, a particle starting from a model level can reach its LCL. The criterion (c) should be sufficiently restrictive because otherwise the cloud cover can be completely removed. A real data example will be shown demonstrating the ability of the method to break the spurious cloud cover during the day, but also to allow its recovery over night.

  • Cloud and boundary layer structure over San Nicolas Island during FIRE

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Albrecht, Bruce A.; Fairall, Christopher W.; Syrett, William J.; Schubert, Wayne H.; Snider, Jack B.

    1990-01-01

    The temporal evolution of the structure of the marine boundary layer and of the associated low-level clouds observed in the vicinity of the San Nicolas Island (SNI) is defined from data collected during the First ISCCP Regional Experiment (FIRE) Marine Stratocumulus Intense Field Observations (IFO) (July 1 to 19). Surface, radiosonde, and remote-sensing measurements are used for this analysis. Sounding from the Island and from the ship Point Sur, which was located approximately 100 km northwest of SNI, are used to define variations in the thermodynamic structure of the lower-troposphere on time scales of 12 hours and longer. Time-height sections of potential temperature and equivalent potential temperature clearly define large-scale variations in the height and the strength of the inversion and periods where the conditions for cloud-top entrainment instability (CTEI) are met. Well defined variations in the height and the strength of the inversion were associated with a Cataline Eddy that was present at various times during the experiment and with the passage of the remnants of a tropical cyclone on July 18. The large-scale variations in the mean thermodynamic structure at SNI correlate well with those observed from the Point Sur. Cloud characteristics are defined for 19 days of the experiment using data from a microwave radiometer, a cloud ceilometer, a sodar, and longwave and shortwave radiometers. The depth of the cloud layer is estimated by defining inversion heights from the sodar reflectivity and cloud-base heights from a laser ceilometer. The integrated liquid water obtained from NOAA’s microwave radiometer is compared with the adiabatic liquid water content that is calculated by lifting a parcel adiabatically from cloud base. In addition, the cloud structure is characterized by the variability in cloud-base height and in the integrated liquid water.

  • Assessing the accuracy of MISR and MISR-simulated cloud top heights using CloudSat- and CALIPSO-retrieved hydrometeor profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillman, Benjamin R.; Marchand, Roger T.; Ackerman, Thomas P.; Mace, Gerald G.; Benson, Sally

    2017-03-01

    Satellite retrievals of cloud properties are often used in the evaluation of global climate models, and in recent years satellite instrument simulators have been used to account for known retrieval biases in order to make more consistent comparisons between models and retrievals. Many of these simulators have seen little critical evaluation. Here we evaluate the Multiangle Imaging Spectroradiometer (MISR) simulator by using visible extinction profiles retrieved from a combination of CloudSat, CALIPSO, MODIS, and AMSR-E observations as inputs to the MISR simulator and comparing cloud top height statistics from the MISR simulator with those retrieved by MISR. Overall, we find that the occurrence of middle- and high-altitude topped clouds agrees well between MISR retrievals and the MISR-simulated output, with distributions of middle- and high-topped cloud cover typically agreeing to better than 5% in both zonal and regional averages. However, there are significant differences in the occurrence of low-topped clouds between MISR retrievals and MISR-simulated output that are due to differences in the detection of low-level clouds between MISR and the combined retrievals used to drive the MISR simulator, rather than due to errors in the MISR simulator cloud top height adjustment. This difference highlights the importance of sensor resolution and boundary layer cloud spatial structure in determining low-altitude cloud cover. The MISR-simulated and MISR-retrieved cloud optical depth also show systematic differences, which are also likely due in part to cloud spatial structure.

  • Characterizing the Influence of the General Circulation on Marine Boundary Layer Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rozendaal, Margaret A.; Rossow, William B.; Hansen, James E. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The seasonal and intraseasonal variability of boundary layer cloud in the subtropical eastern oceans are studied using combined data from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalysis. Spectral analysis reveals that most of the time variability of cloud properties occurs on seasonal to annual time scales. The variance decreases one to two orders of magnitude for each decade of time scale decrease, indicating that daily to monthly time scales have smaller, but non-negligible variability. The length of these dominant time scales suggests that the majority of the variability is influenced by the general circulation and its interaction with boundary layer turbulence, rather than a product of boundary layer turbulence alone. Previous datasets have lacked the necessary resolution in either time or in space to properly characterize variability on synoptic scales; this is remedied by using global satellite-retrieved cloud properties. We characterize the intraseasonal subtropical cloud variability in both hemispheres and in different seasons. In addition to cloud fraction, we examine variability of cloud optical thickness – cloud top pressure frequency distributions. Despite the large concentration of research on the variability of Northern Hemisphere (NH) regions during summer, it is noted that the largest amplitude intraseasonal variability in the NH regions occurs during local winter. The effect of intraseasonal variability on the calculation and interpretation of seasonal results is investigated. Decreases in seasonally averaged cloud cover, optical thickness and cloud top pressure from the May-through-September season to the November-through-March season are most apparent in the NH regions. Further analysis indicates that these changes are due to an increase in frequency, but a decrease in the persistence of synoptic events. In addition, changes in cloud top pressure and

  • Solar cycle and long term variations of mesospheric ice layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lübken, Franz-Josef; Berger, Uwe; Kiliani, Johannes; Baumgarten, Gerd; Fiedler, Jens; Gerding, Michael

    2010-05-01

    Ice layers in the summer mesosphere at middle and polar latitudes, frequently called `noctilucent clouds’ (NLC) or `polar mesosphere clouds'(PMC), are considered to be sensitive indicators of long term changes in the middle atmosphere. We present a summary of long term observations from the ground and from satellites and compare with results from the LIMA model (Leibniz Institute Middle Atmosphere Model). LIMA nicely reproduces mean conditions of the summer mesopause region and also mean characteristics of ice layers. LIMA nudges to ECMWF data in the troposphere and lower stratosphere which influences the background conditions in the mesosphere and thereby the morphology of ice clouds. A strong correlation between temperatures and PMC altitudes is observed. Applied to historical measurements this give s negligible temperature trends at PMC altitudes (approximately 0.01-0.02 K/y). Trace gas concentrations are kept constant in LIMA except for water vapor which is modified by variable solar radiation. Still, long term trends in temperatures and ice layer parameters are observed, consistent with observations. As will be shown, these trends originate in the stratosphere. Solar cycle effects are expected in ice layers due to variations in background temperatures and water paper. We will present results from LIMA regarding solar cycle variations and compare with NLC observations at our lidar stations in Kühlungsborn (54°N) and ALOMAR (69°N), and also with satellite measurements.

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