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Cloud optical properties over West Antarctica from shortwave spectroradiometer measurements during AWARE

TitleCloud optical properties over West Antarctica from shortwave spectroradiometer measurements during AWARE
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsWilson A., Scott R.C, Cadeddu M.P, Ghate V., Lubin D.
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres
Date Published2018/09
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2169-897X
Accession NumberWOS:000445617500036
Keywordsclimate; effective radius; independent spheres; liquid water path; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences; nonspherical ice particle; phase; radiation; Ross Island; scattering; spectral method

A shortwave spectroradiometer was deployed on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) as part of the U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program ARM West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE). This instrument recorded 1-min averages of downwelling hemispheric spectral irradiance covering the wavelength range 350-2,200nm with spectral resolution 3 and 10nm for wavelengths shorter and longer than 1,000nm, respectively. Using simultaneous micropulse lidar data to identify the thermodynamic phase of stratiform clouds, a radiative transfer algorithm is used to retrieve optical depth and effective droplet (or particle) size for single-phase liquid water and ice water clouds. The AWARE campaign on the WAIS first sampled typical climatological conditions between 7 December 2015 and 9 January 2016 and then a much warmer air mass with more moisture associated with a surface melt event between 10 and 17 January 2016. Before the melt event most liquid cloud effective droplet radii were consistent with pristine polar maritime clouds (mode radius 13.5m) but showed a second local maximum in the distribution (at 8m) consistent with colder, moisture-limited conditions. Most ice clouds sampled occurred before the melt event (mode optical depth 4 and effective particle size 19m). During the melt event liquid water cloud optical depth nearly doubled (mode value increasing from 8 to 14). AWARE therefore sampled on the WAIS two cases relevant to climate model simulations: typical current climatological conditions, followed by warmer meteorology possibly consistent with future increasing surface melt scenarios.

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