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A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2010)

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle The Coupled Effect of Mid-Tropospheric Moisture and Aerosol Abundance on Deep Convective Cloud Dynamics and Microphysics
Atmosphere 2011, 2(3), 222-241; doi:10.3390/atmos2030222
Received: 1 June 2011 / Revised: 26 June 2011 / Accepted: 5 July 2011 / Published: 19 July 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The humidity of the mid troposphere has a significant effect on the development of deep convection. Dry layers (dry intrusions) can inhibit deep convection through the effect of a thermal inversion resulting from radiation and due to the reduction in buoyancy resulting [...] Read more.
The humidity of the mid troposphere has a significant effect on the development of deep convection. Dry layers (dry intrusions) can inhibit deep convection through the effect of a thermal inversion resulting from radiation and due to the reduction in buoyancy resulting from entrainment. Recent observations have shown that the sensitivity of cloud top height to changes in mid-tropospheric humidity can be larger than straightforward “parcel dilution” would lead us to expect. Here, we investigate how aerosol effects on cloud development and microphysics are coupled to the effects of mid-tropospheric dry air. The two effects are coupled because the buoyancy loss through entrainment depends on droplet evaporation, so is controlled both by the environmental humidity and by droplet sizes, which are, in turn, controlled in part by the aerosol size distribution. Previous studies have not taken these microphysical effects into account. Cloud development and microphysics are examined using a 2-D non-hydrostatic cloud model with a detailed treatment of aerosol, drop, and ice-phase hydrometeor size spectra. A moderately deep mixed-phase convective cloud that developed over the High Plains of the United States is simulated. We find that a dry layer in the mid troposphere leads to a reduction in cloud updraft strength, droplet number, liquid water content and ice mass above the layer. The effect of the dry layer on these cloud properties is greatly enhanced under elevated aerosol conditions. In an environment with doubled aerosol number (but still realistic for continental conditions) the dry layer has about a three-times larger effect on cloud drop number and 50% greater effect on ice mass compared to an environment with lower aerosol. In the case with high aerosol loading, the dry layer stops convective development for over 10 min, and the maximum cloud top height reached is lower. However, the effect of the dry layer on cloud vertical development is significantly reduced when aerosol concentrations are lower. The coupled effect of mid-tropospheric dry air and aerosol on convective development is an additional way in which long term changes in aerosol may impact planetary cloud processes and climate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
Open AccessArticle Oceanic Dimethyl Sulfide Emission and New Particle Formation around the Coast of Antarctica: A Modeling Study of Seasonal Variations and Comparison with Measurements
Atmosphere 2010, 1(1), 34-50; doi:10.3390/atmos1010034
Received: 27 August 2010 / Revised: 12 November 2010 / Accepted: 2 December 2010 / Published: 6 December 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1726 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A clear understanding of new particle formation processes in remote oceans is critical for properly assessing the role of oceanic dimethyl sulfide (DMS) emission on the Earth’s climate and associated climate feedback processes. Almost free from anthropogenic pollutants and leafed plants, the [...] Read more.
A clear understanding of new particle formation processes in remote oceans is critical for properly assessing the role of oceanic dimethyl sulfide (DMS) emission on the Earth’s climate and associated climate feedback processes. Almost free from anthropogenic pollutants and leafed plants, the Antarctic continent and surrounding oceans are unique regions for studying the lifecycle of natural sulfate aerosols. Here we investigate the well-recognized seasonal variations of new particle formation around Antarctic coastal areas with a recently developed global size-resolved aerosol model. Our simulations indicate that enhanced DMS emission and photochemistry during the austral summer season lead to significant new particle formation via ion-mediated nucleation (IMN) and much higher particle number concentrations over Antarctica and surrounding oceans. By comparing predicted condensation nuclei larger than 10 nm (CN10) during a three-year period (2005–2007) with the long-period continuous CN10 measurements at the German Antarctic station Neumayer, we show that the model captures the absolute values of monthly mean CN10 (within a factor 2–3) as well as their seasonal variations. Our simulations confirm that the observed Antarctic CN10 and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) seasonal variations are due to the formation of secondary particles during the austral summer. From the austral winter to summer, the zonally averaged CN10 and CCN in the lower troposphere over Antarctica increase by a factor of ~4–6 and ~2–4, respectively. This study appears to show that the H2SO4-H2O IMN mechanism is able to account for the new particle formation frequently observed in the Antarctica region during the austral summer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers)
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