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Correlations between microphysical properties of large-scale semi-transparent cirrus and the state of the atmosphere

Stubenrauch, C. J., Eddounia, F. and Radel, G. (2004) Correlations between microphysical properties of large-scale semi-transparent cirrus and the state of the atmosphere. Atmospheric Research, 72 (1-4). pp. 403-423. ISSN 0169-8059

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2004.03.024

Abstract/Summary

By making use of TOVS Path-B satellite retrievals and ECMWF reanalyses, correlations between bulk microphysical properties of large-scale semi-transparent cirrus (visible optical thickness between 0.7 and 3.8) and thermodynamic and dynamic properties of the surrounding atmosphere have been studied on a global scale. These clouds constitute about half of all high clouds. The global averages (from 60°N to 60°S) of mean ice crystal diameter, De, and ice water path (IWP) of these clouds are 55 μm and 30 g m−2, respectively. IWP of these cirrus is slightly increasing with cloud-top temperature, whereas De of cold cirrus does not depend on this parameter. Correlations between De and IWp of large-scale cirrus seem to be different in the midlatitudes and in the tropics. However, we observe in general stronger correlations between De and IWP and atmospheric humidity and winds deduced from the ECMWF reanalyses: De and IWP increase both with increasing atmospheric water vapour. There is also a good distinction between different dynamical situations: In humid situations, IWP is on average about 10 gm−2 larger in regions with strong large-scale vertical updraft only that in regions with strong large-scale horizontal winds only, whereas the mean De of cold large-scale cirrus decreases by about 10 μm if both strong large-scale updraft and horizontal winds are present.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:7314
Uncontrolled Keywords:TOVS Path-B; ECMWF reanalyses; Ice water path
Publisher:Elsevier

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