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Comparing parameterized versus measured microphysical properties of tropical convective cloud bases during the ACRIDICON-CHUVA campaign

TitleComparing parameterized versus measured microphysical properties of tropical convective cloud bases during the ACRIDICON-CHUVA campaign
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBraga R.C, Rosenfeld D, Weigel R., Jurkat T., Andreae M.O, Wendisch M., Poehlker M.L, Klimach T., Poeschl U., Poehlker C., Voigt C., Mahnke C., Borrmann S., Albrecht R.I, Molleker S., Vila D.A, Machado L.AT, Artaxo P.
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Date Published2017/06
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number1680-7316
Accession NumberWOS:000403917900004
Keywordsaerosol; amazon; calibration; condensation nuclei ccn; Distribution; droplet probe cdp; in-situ measurements; particle; phase clouds; rain clouds; size

The objective of this study is to validate parameterizations that were recently developed for satellite retrievals of cloud condensation nuclei supersaturation spectra, N-CCN (S), at cloud base alongside more traditional parameterizations connecting N-CCN (S) with cloud base updrafts and drop concentrations. This was based on the HALO aircraft measurements during the ACRIDICON-CHUVA campaign over the Amazon region, which took place in September 2014. The properties of convective clouds were measured with a cloud combination probe (CCP), a cloud and aerosol spectrometer (CAS-DPOL), and a CCN counter onboard the HALO aircraft. An intercomparison of the cloud drop size distributions (DSDs) and the cloud water content (CWC) derived from the different instruments generally shows good agreement within the instrumental uncertainties. To this end, the directly measured cloud drop concentrations (N-d) near cloud base were compared with inferred values based on the measured cloud base updraft velocity (W-b) and N-CCN (S) spectra. The measurements of N-d at cloud base were also compared with drop concentrations (N-a) derived on the basis of an adiabatic assumption and obtained from the vertical evolution of cloud drop effective radius (r(e)) above cloud base. The measurements of N-CCN (S) and W-b reproduced the observed N-d within the measurements uncertainties when the old (1959) Twomey's parameterization was used. The agreement between the measured and calculated N-d was only within a factor of 2 with attempts to use cloud base S, as obtained from the measured W-b, N-d, and N-CCN (S). This underscores the yet unresolved challenge of aircraft measurements of S in clouds. Importantly, the vertical evolution of r(e) with height reproduced the observation-based nearly adiabatic cloud base drop concentrations, N-a. The combination of these results provides aircraft observational support for the various components of the satellite-retrieved methodology that was recently developed to retrieve N-CCN (S) under the base of convective clouds. This parameterization can now be applied with the proper qualifications to cloud simulations and satellite retrievals.

Short TitleAtmos. Chem. Phys.
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