U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Strong Vertical Velocity Impacts on Cloud Droplet Properties; Implications for Aerosol Indirect Effects
Published: November 08, 2012
Posted: February 14, 2013

Cloud droplet sizes and behaviors are influenced both by local dynamical effects, such as vertical velocity, and aerosol particles. It is challenging to discern these influences and formulate cloud behavior properly in response to both dynamical and aerosol effects. U.S. Department of Energy scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory and their collaborators have studied these effects on cloud droplets using data collected in cumulus clouds during the Routine AAF [Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Aerial Facility] Clouds with Low Optical Water Depths (CLOWD) Optical Radiative Observations (RACORO) field campaign. Their focus was on the effect of vertical velocity on cloud droplet number concentration and droplet size distribution. This observational study showed that with increasing vertical velocity, the droplet number concentration increases while the size distribution range decreases. These effects happen to be opposite that of enhanced aerosol numbers. Thus, this study is an important step toward understanding and discerning the relative influences of cloud dynamical vigor and aerosol particles on cloud properties.

Reference: Lu, C., Y. Liu, S. Niu, and A. M. Vogelmann. 2012). "Observed Impacts of Vertical Velocity on Cloud Microphysics and Implications for Aerosol Indirect Effects," Geophysical Research Letters 39, L21808. DOI: 10.1029/2012GL053599. (Reference link)

Contact: Dorothy Koch, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0105, Rickey Petty, SC-23.1, (301) 903-5548
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research
  • Facility: DOE ARM User Facility

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Aug 24, 2019
New Approach for Studying How Microbes Influence Their Environment
A diverse group of scientists suggests a common framework and targeting of known microbial processes [more...]

Aug 08, 2019
Nutrient-Hungry Peatland Microbes Reduce Carbon Loss Under Warmer Conditions
Enzyme production in peatlands reduces carbon lost to respiration under future high temperatures. [more...]

Aug 05, 2019
Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition
AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison. The Science Plant growth is dependent on the availabi [more...]

Jul 29, 2019
A Slippery Slope: Soil Carbon Destabilization
Carbon gain or loss depends on the balance between competing biological, chemical, and physical reac [more...]

Jul 15, 2019
Field Evaluation of Gas Analyzers for Measuring Ecosystem Fluxes
How gas analyzer type and correction method impact measured fluxes. The Science A side- [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)