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

BER Research Highlights


Understanding Oceanic Low-level Clouds
Published: June 28, 2010
Posted: July 28, 2010

Using a combination of ground-based ARM data and satellite data, DOE scientists found that low-level clouds that usually form over the oceans are controlled by interactions between cloud small-scale processes (known as microphysical processes) and large-scale processes (known as macrophysical processes). Despite their critical importance in shaping the Earth’s climate, these low low-level clouds are not well understood. For the first time, this study found that there is striking seasonal variation in both macrophysical properties (such as cloud base height and cloud amount) and microphysical properties (such as number of cloud droplets and drizzling frequency). The results suggest possible influences of macrophysical processes and aerosol particles, highlighting the need for development of a new cloud formulation that accounts for both microphysical and macrophysical processes.

Reference: Liu, Y. 2010. Comments on “Seasonal Variation of the Physical Properties of Marine Boundary Layer Clouds Off the California Coast” by Lin et al., Journal of Climate 23(12), 3416–3420. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/2010JCLI3407.1. (Reference link)

Contact: Kiran Alapaty, SC-23.1, (301) 903-3175
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)