Ten Years of Aerosol Effects on Single-Layer Overcast Clouds over the US Southern Great Plains and the China Loess Plateau.

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Authors: Hongru Yan and Tianhe Wang
Date: May 31, 2020
Publisher: Hindawi Limited
Document Type: Article
Length: 10,171 words
Lexile Measure: 1410L

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Abstract :

Using almost 10 years of observations of clouds and aerosols from the US Southern Great Plains (SGP) atmospheric observatory and the Semi-Arid Climate and Environment Observatory of Lanzhou University (SACOL) in China, the impact of aerosols on single-layer overcast clouds over continental land for different regimes were investigated. Atmospheric conditions at the two sites were first compared in an attempt to isolate the influence of aerosols on cloud properties from dynamic and thermodynamic influences. Cloud types and amounts are similar at the two sites. The dominant aerosol types at the SGP and SACOL sites are sulphate and dust, respectively, with greater aerosol optical depths (AODs) and absorption at the SACOL site. Aerosol first indirect effect (FIE) ranges from 0.021 to 0.152 and from -0.078 to 0.047 at the SGP and SACOL sites, respectively, when using the AOD below cloud base as CCN proxy. Although differences exist, the influence of meteorological conditions on the FIE at the two sites is consistent. FIEs are easily detected under descending motion and dry condition. The FIE at the SGP site is larger than that at the SACOL site, which suggests that the cloud albedo effect is more sensitive under relatively cleaner atmospheric conditions and the dominating aerosol at the SACOL site has less hygroscopicity. The radiative forcing of the FIE over the SGP site is -3.2 W [m.sup.-2] for each 0.05 increment in FIE. Cloud durations generally prolong as aerosol loading increases, which is consistent with the hypothesis of the aerosol second indirect effect. The negative relationship between cloud duration time and aerosol loading when aerosol loading reaches a large value further might suggest a semidirect effect.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A627390443