Geophysical Research Letters
Stratocumulus cloud top entrainment has a significant effect on cloud properties, but there are few observations quantifying its impact. Using explicit 0-D parcel model simulations, initialized with below-cloud in situ measurements, and validated with in situ measurements of cloud properties, the shortwave cloud radiative forcing (SWCF) was reduced by up to 100 W m−2 by cloud top entrainment in the Southern Ocean. The impact of entrainment-corrected SWCF is between 2 and 20 times that of changes in the aerosol particle concentration or updraft at cloud base. The variability in entrainment-corrected SWCF accounts for up to 50 W m−2 uncertainty in estimating cloud forcing. Measurements necessary for estimating the impact of entrainment on cloud properties can be constrained from existing airborne platforms and provide a first-order approximation for cloud radiative properties of nonprecipitating stratocumulus clouds. These measurement-derived estimates of entrainment can be used to validate and improve parameterizations of entrainment in Global Climate Models.
National Science Foundation
aerosol, clouds, entrainment, parcel model, shortwave forcing
Creative Commons License
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Meteorology and Climate Science
K. J. Sanchez, G. C. Roberts, M. Diao, and L. M. Russell. "Measured Constraints on Cloud Top Entrainment to Reduce Uncertainty of Nonprecipitating Stratocumulus Shortwave Radiative Forcing in the Southern Ocean" Geophysical Research Letters (2020). https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL090513