Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 224–233 | Cite as

Aerosol properties and their impacts on surface CCN at the ARM Southern Great Plains site during the 2011 Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment

  • Timothy Logan
  • Xiquan DongEmail author
  • Baike Xi
Original Paper


Aerosol particles are of particular importance because of their impacts on cloud development and precipitation processes over land and ocean. Aerosol properties as well as meteorological observations from the Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) platform situated in the Southern Great Plains (SGP) are utilized in this study to illustrate the dependence of continental cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) number concentration (NCCN) on aerosol type and transport pathways. ARM-SGP observations from the 2011 Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment field campaign are presented in this study and compared with our previous work during the 2009–10 Clouds, Aerosol, and Precipitation in the Marine Boundary Layer field campaign over the current ARM Eastern North Atlantic site. Northerly winds over the SGP reflect clean, continental conditions with aerosol scattering coefficient (σsp) values less than 20 Mm−1 and NCCN values less than 100 cm−3. However, southerly winds over the SGP are responsible for the observed moderate to high correlation (R) among aerosol loading (σsp < 60 Mm−1) and NCCN, carbonaceous chemical species (biomass burning smoke), and precipitable water vapor. This suggests a common transport mechanism for smoke aerosols and moisture via the Gulf of Mexico, indicating a strong dependence on air mass type. NASA MERRA-2 reanalysis aerosol and chemical data are moderately to highly correlated with surface ARM-SGP data, suggesting that this facility can represent surface aerosol conditions in the SGP, especially during strong aerosol loading events that transport via the Gulf of Mexico. Future long-term investigations will help to understand the seasonal influences of air masses on aerosol, CCN, and cloud properties over land in comparison to over ocean.


aerosol indirect effect aerosol transport biomass burning smoke 

摘 要

气溶胶粒子对大陆和海洋上空云的发展和降水过程有十分重要的影响. 本文利用美国能源部位于大平原南部(SGP)地区的大气辐射观测(ARM)平台的气溶胶和气象观测数据研究了大陆性云凝结核数浓度与气溶胶类型及其传输路径的关系. 文中介绍了 2011年 ARM-SGP所开展的中纬度大陆性对流云试验, 并将其与我们在 2009-2010 期间在 ARM 北大西洋东部站点所开展的海洋边界层云, 气溶胶和降水试验得到的研究结果进行了对比. SGP 地区盛行北风时气溶胶散射系数(σsp)不足 20 Mm−1, NCCN值不足 100 cm−3, 表现为清洁的大陆性特征. 但是, 当 SGP 地区盛行南风时可观测到气溶胶含量(σsp > 60 Mm−1)与 NCCN, 含碳化合物(生物质燃烧烟尘)以及可降雨水汽量呈中度或高度相关(R), 该结果表明烟尘气溶胶和水汽存在经由墨西哥湾传输这种共同的传输机制, 且对气团类型有很强的依赖性. NASA MERRA-2 的气溶胶和化学组分再分析数据与 ARM-SGP 地面观测数据呈中度或高度相关, 表明该数据可以反应 SGP 地区的地面气溶胶情况, 尤其是经由墨西哥湾输送期间高浓度的气溶胶状况. 未来通过和海洋状况的长期比较研究将有助于深入理解大陆上空气团对气溶胶, CCN 和云的季节性影响.


气溶胶间接效应 气溶胶输送 生物质燃烧烟尘 


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The surface aerosol data were obtained from the ARM Program sponsored by the U.S. DOE Office of Energy Research, Office of Health and Environmental Research, and Environmental Sciences Division. The meteorological data for Figs. 1–3 were obtained from the NOAA ESRL Physical Sciences Division in Boulder, Colorado ( The authors wish to thank the scientists at the DOE ARM-SGP site for maintaining the data used in this study. Analyses and visualizations used in this paper were produced with the NASA Giovanni online data system, developed and maintained by the NASA GES DISC (found at The authors deeply appreciate the comments and suggestions from the anonymous reviewers of this manuscript. This research was supported by National Science Foundation Collaborative Research under the award number AGS-1700728 at the University of Arizona and AGS-1700796 at Texas A&M University.


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Copyright information

© Chinese National Committee for International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Atmospheric SciencesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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