Analysis of Near-Cloud Changes in Atmospheric Aerosols Using Satellite Observations and Global Model Simulations
Links to Fileshttps://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/13/6/1151
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Type of Work13 pages
Citation of Original PublicationVárnai, Tamás; Marshak, Alexander. 2021. "Analysis of Near-Cloud Changes in Atmospheric Aerosols Using Satellite Observations and Global Model Simulations" Remote Sens. 13, no. 6: 1151. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13061151
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This work was written as part of one of the author's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
This paper examines cloud-related variations of atmospheric aerosols that occur in partly cloudy regions containing low-altitude clouds. The goal is to better understand aerosol behaviors and to help better represent the radiative effects of aerosols on climate. For this, the paper presents a statistical analysis of a multi-month global dataset that combines data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) satellite instruments with data from the Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, Version 2 (MERRA-2) global reanalysis. Among other findings, the results reveal that near-cloud enhancements in lidar backscatter (closely related to aerosol optical depth) are larger (1) over land than ocean by 35%, (2) near optically thicker clouds by substantial amounts, (3) for sea salt than for other aerosol types, with the difference from dust reaching 50%. Finally, the study found that mean lidar backscatter is higher near clouds not because of large-scale variations in meteorological conditions, but because of local processes associated with individual clouds. The results help improve our understanding of aerosol-cloud-radiation interactions and our ability to represent them in climate models and other atmospheric models
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