Aerosol-Cloud Interactions Control of Earth Radiation and Latent Heat Release Budgets
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Aircraft observations and model simulations show that cloud development is strongly modulated by the impact of cloud-aerosol interactions on precipitation forming processes. New insights into the mechanisms by which aerosols dominate the cloud cover of marine shallow clouds suggest that feedbacks between the cloud microstructure and cloud dynamics through precipitation processes play a major role in determining when a solid cloud cover will break up into a field of trade wind cumulus. Cloud-aerosol interactions dominate not only the dynamics of marine shallow clouds, but also the lifetime and the vertical disposition of latent heat of deep convective clouds over ocean and even more strongly over land. Recent coincident satellite measurements of aerosols and cloud properties quantify the aerosol effects on cloud cover and radiative forcing on regional and global scales. The shapes of the satellite retrieved relations between aerosols and cloud properties are consistent with the suggested ways by which aerosols affect clouds via precipitation processes, particularly by affecting the intensity of the cloud vertical air motions and its vertical development.
Keywordsclimate change cloud-aerosol-interactions precipitation
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