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Multi-sensor quantification of aerosol-induced variability in warm clouds over eastern China
- Wang, Fu, Guo, Jianping, Zhang, Jiahua, Huang, Jingfeng, Min, Min, Chen, Tianmeng, Liu, Huan, Deng, Minjun, Li, Xiaowen
- Atmospheric environment 2015 v.113 pp. 1-9
- aerosols, altitude, atmospheric chemistry, data collection, mixing, moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer, particulates, summer, winter, zone of saturation, China
- Aerosol-cloud (AC) interactions remain uncharacterized due to difficulties in obtaining accurate aerosol and cloud observations. In this study, we quantified the aerosol indirect effects (AIE) on warm clouds over Eastern China based on near-simultaneous retrievals from MODIS/AQUA, CALIOP/CALIPSO, and CPR/CLOUDSAT between June 2006 and December 2010. The seasonality of aerosols from ground-based PM10 (aerosol particles with diameter of 10 μm or less) significantly differed from that estimated using MODIS aerosol optical depth (AOD). This result was supported by the lower level frequency profile of aerosol occurrence from CALIOP, indicative of the significant role of CALIOP in the AC interaction. To focus on warm clouds, cloud layers with base (top) altitudes above 7 (10) km were excluded. The combination of CALIOP and CPR was applied to determine the exact position of warm clouds relative to aerosols out of the following six scenarios in terms of AC mixing states: 1) aerosol only (AO); 2) cloud only (CO); 3) single aerosol layer-single cloud layer (SASC); 4) single aerosol layer-double cloud layers (SADC); 5) double aerosol layers - single cloud layer (DASC); and 6) others. The cases with vertical distance between aerosol and cloud layer less (more) than 100 m (700 m) were marked mixed (separated), and the rest as uncertain. Results showed that only 8.95% (7.53%) belonged to the mixed (separated and uncertain) state among all of the collocated AC overlapping cases, including SASC, SADC, and DASC. Under mixed conditions, the cloud droplet effective radius (CDR) decreased with increasing AOD at moderate aerosol loading (AOD<0.4), and then became saturated at an AOD of around 0.5, followed by an increase in CDR with increasing AOD, known as boomerang shape. Under separated conditions, no apparent changes in CDR with AOD were observed. We categorized the AC dataset into summer- and winter-season subsets to determine how the boomerang shape varied with season. The response of CDR to AOD in summer exhibited similar but much more deepened boomerang shape, as compared with the all year round case. In contrast, CDR in winter did not follow the boomerang shape for its continued decreasing with increasing AOD, even after the saturation zone (AOD around 0.5) of a cloud droplet.