Special Issue "Observations and Simulations of Clouds, Aerosols, Precipitation, and Radiation over the Southern Ocean"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Meteorology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 6 May 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Yi Huang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
Interests: Cloud-Aerosol-Precipitation-Radiation Interactions; Atmosphere Remote Sensing; Mesoscale Numerical Modeling; Boundary Layer Meteorology; Mountain Meteorology
Prof. Adrian McDonald
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Gateway Antarctica/School of Physical & Chemical Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand
Interests: Cloud-Aerosol-Precipitation-Radiation Interactions; Atmospheric Remote Sensing; Synoptic Climatology and Machine Learning in the Geosciences
Dr. Christina McCluskey
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Center for Atmospheric Science, Boulder, Colorado, CO 80305, USA
Interests: aerosol physics and chemistry; aerosol-cloud interactions; numerical modeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Southern Ocean is a critical component of Earth’s climate system which has a significant influence on ocean circulation and anthropogenic carbon uptake. Unfortunately, large biases exist in the atmospheric radiation budget in both climate models and reanalysis products, which in turn lead to positive sea surface temperature biases over the entire Southern Ocean.  These biases have been attributed to a poor understanding of clouds, aerosols, precipitation, and radiation, and their interactions in this region.

Due to the harsh environment of the remote Southern Ocean, much of our current knowledge is heavily dependent on satellite products which are themselves often limited by a lack of in situ observations for calibration. Motivated by the need to improve the fundamental understanding of key atmospheric processes of the Southern Ocean climate system, a range of ship- and airborne field campaigns have been taking place in recent years, yielding an unprecedented wealth of new data and insights. 

This Special Issue aims to bring together high-quality observational (field and remote-sensing) and modeling studies of clouds, aerosols, precipitation, and radiation over the Southern Ocean to advance our understanding of the critical processes and their interactions. These studies’ central aim is to improve the representation of these processes in models at multiple spatial and temporal scales and to enhance the simulation of this region. Review papers and summaries of recent field campaigns are also welcome.

Dr. Yi Huang
Prof. Adrian McDonald
Dr. Christina McCluskey
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Southern Ocean
  • Cloud-aerosol-precipitation-radiation
  • Observations
  • Simulations
  • Multi-scale dynamical impacts
  • Climate prediction and model parameterization
  • Cloud microphysics
  • Aerosol physics and chemistry
  • Polar Meteorology

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Evidence of a Diurnal Cycle in Precipitation over the Southern Ocean as Observed at Macquarie Island
Atmosphere 2020, 11(2), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11020181 - 09 Feb 2020
Due to a lack of observations, relatively large discrepancies exist between precipitation products over the Southern Ocean. In this manuscript, surface hourly precipitation observations from Macquarie Island (54.62 S, 158.85 E) are analysed (1998–2016) to reveal a diurnal cycle. The precipitation [...] Read more.
Due to a lack of observations, relatively large discrepancies exist between precipitation products over the Southern Ocean. In this manuscript, surface hourly precipitation observations from Macquarie Island (54.62 S, 158.85 E) are analysed (1998–2016) to reveal a diurnal cycle. The precipitation rate is at a maximum during night/early morning and a minimum in the afternoon at Macquarie Island station. Seasonally, the diurnal cycle is strongest in summer and negligible over winter. Such a cycle is consistent with precipitation arising from marine boundary layer clouds, suggesting that such clouds are making a substantial contribution to total precipitation over Macquarie Island and the Southern Ocean. Using twice daily upper air soundings (1995–2011), lower troposphere stability parameters show a stronger inversion at night, again consistent with precipitation arising from marine boundary layer clouds. The ERA-Interim precipitation is dominated by a 12 hourly cycle, year around, which is likely to be a consequence of the twice-daily initialisation. The implication of a diurnal cycle in boundary layer clouds over the Southern Ocean to derived A-Train satellite precipitation products is also discussed. Full article

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Measurements of Cloud Radiative Effect across the Southern Ocean for the Antarctic Cloud and Radiation Experiment (ACRE)
Authors: Haoran Wang, Andrew R. Klekociuk, W. John R. French, Simon P. Alexander and Tom A. Warner
Abstract: Using ship-based measurements primarily made with downwelling radiation sensors and a cloud imager, we summarize the radiation environment over the Southern Ocean within the region bounded by 42.8°S to 78.7°S and 62.6°E to 157.7°W during three Antarctic summers. We focus on characterizing the cloud radiative effect (CRE) under a variety of conditions, comparing observations in the open ocean with those in the sea ice zone. For comparison with our observed data, we obtained surface data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts ERA5 reanalysis. We found the comparison data set slightly underestimated cloud fraction (observed cloud fraction ~0.74 compared with 0.70 for ERA5). The comparison data also showed a positive biases in the shortwave radiation effect and a negative bias in the longwave radiation effect. The observed mean net surface CRE of -165.2 W/m2 was significantly more negative than ERA5 with a mean net surface CRE of -100.8 W/m2. We discuss these biases in term of the representation of low-level and mid-level clouds in ERA5.

Title: Diurnal Cycle of Precipitation and Boundary Layer Structure over the Southern Ocean
Francisco Lang et al.

Title: In-situ Observations of Cloud and Aerosol Particle Concentrations over the Southern Ocean with A Balloon-Borne Backscatter Sonde
Authors: Murray Hamilton

Title: Evaluating Southern Ocean Clouds Simulated by the Met Office Unified Model using Ship-Based Observations
Authors: S. P. Alexander, M. Mallet, K. Furtado, A. Protat, P. Field
Abstract: Ship-based observations of mid-latitude Southern Ocean cloud occurrence and phase were made using cloud radar and cloud lidar deployed aboard RV Investigator during austral autumn 2016 and late summer 2018. We simulate two case studies during periods when both precipitating and non-precipitating post-frontal liquid clouds within the boundary layer were identified by the ship-based instruments. Simulations of these cases were made using the Met Office Unified Model and the new multi-moment Cloud AeroSol Interacting Microphysics (CASIM) scheme, and are evaluated against cloud metrics including fraction, liquid water path, phase and occurrence.

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