Investigations of Cloud Properties Over the Southeast Atlantic Ocean and the Amazon Rainforest

Sid Gupta, Argonne National Laboratory
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Clouds routinely cover two-thirds of the Earth’s surface. Their interactions with aerosols cause large uncertainty in model estimates of Earth’s energy budget in the future. Aerosol-cloud interactions are regime-dependent (cloud type, location) and require observations from regions that are important for global climate. This includes Marine Stratocumulus Clouds (MSCs) over the southeast Atlantic Ocean and Deep Convection over the Amazon rainforest. MSCs over the southeast Atlantic persist under biomass-burning aerosols from southern Africa. Airborne observations from a NASA aircraft field campaign are used to quantify the aerosol-induced changes in cloud properties and to evaluate satellite retrievals of clouds. Deep convective clouds influence the water cycle of the Amazon rainforest, with implications for the global climate. Radar and satellite retrievals are used to track convection in space and time to study the cloud lifecycle. Profiles of cloud properties are examined using data from Radar Wind Profilers during the GoAmazon experiment.