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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(4), 300; doi:10.3390/rs8040300

Climatology Analysis of Aerosol Effect on Marine Water Cloud from Long-Term Satellite Climate Data Records

1
National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), NOAA/NESDIS, Asheville, NC 28801, USA
2
Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR), NOAA/NESDIS, Madison, WI 53706, USA
3
Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS), UW-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Wenze Yang, Viju John, Hui Lu, Ken Knapp, Xiaofeng Li and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 27 January 2016 / Revised: 18 March 2016 / Accepted: 29 March 2016 / Published: 2 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Satellite Climate Data Records and Applications)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [10195 KB, uploaded 2 April 2016]   |  

Abstract

Satellite aerosol and cloud climate data records (CDRs) have been used successfully to study the aerosol indirect effect (AIE). Data from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) now span more than 30 years and allow these studies to be conducted from a climatology perspective. In this paper, AVHRR data are used to study the AIE on water clouds over the global oceans. Correlation analysis between aerosol optical thickness (AOT) and cloud parameters, including cloud droplet effective radius (CDER), cloud optical depth (COD), cloud water path (CWP), and cloud cover fraction (CCF), is performed. For the first time from satellite observations, the long-term trend in AIE over the global oceans is also examined. Three regimes have been identified: (1) AOT < 0.08, where CDER increases with AOT; (2) 0.08 < AOT < 0.3, where CDER generally decreases when AOT increases; and (3) AOT > 0.3, where CDER first increases with AOT and then levels off. AIE is easy to manifest in the CDER reduction in the second regime (named Regime 2), which is identified as the AIE sensitive/effective regime. The AIE manifested in the consistent changes of all four cloud variables (CDER, COD, CWP, and CCF) together is located only in limited areas and with evident seasonal variations. The long-term trend of CDER changes due to the AIE of AOT changes is detected and falls into three scenarios: Evident CDER decreasing (increasing) with significant AOT increasing (decreasing) and evident CDER decreasing with limited AOT increasing but AOT values fall in the AIE sensitive Regime 2. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerosol; cloud; climate data record; aerosol indirect effect; satellite aerosol; cloud; climate data record; aerosol indirect effect; satellite
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhao, X.; Heidinger, A.K.; Walther, A. Climatology Analysis of Aerosol Effect on Marine Water Cloud from Long-Term Satellite Climate Data Records. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 300.

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