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Light-Absorbing Material Extracted From Cloud Droplets and Its Effect on Cloud Albedo Public Deposited

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  • Using the counterflow virtual impactor, a new instrument for sampling cloud droplets, measurable levels of light-absorbing material were found to exist inside droplets in stratocumulus clouds off the coast of southern California. Eighty percent of the samples of droplet residue material had light absorption coefficients ranging from 6 to 20 × 10⁻⁸ m⁻¹ (where m⁻¹ means per meter of distance in the cloud, not in the cloud droplet nor in the dried bulk aerosol material). Calculated soot concentrations were between 23 and 79 ng soot g⁻¹ of cloud water. These values are in general agreement with aerosol, rainwater, and snow measurements from other experiments and suggest that the coastal clouds were influenced by continental air. Aircraft measurements determined that the sampled clouds had average liquid water contents of 0.24–0.31 g m⁻³, effective droplet radii of 5.0–7.8 μm, and optical thicknesses of 14–28. Radiative transfer calculations indicate that even at the most sensitive wavelength, the maximum amount of light-absorbing material from cloud air and inside cloud droplets in this experiment would not significantly alter the albedos of the clouds that were measured. The same amount could possibly affect the albedo of much thicker clouds or of snowpacks (which have relatively large particles and optical thicknesses).
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  • Twohy, C. H., A. D. Clarke, S. G. Warren, L. F. Radke, and R. J. Charlson (1989), Light-Absorbing Material Extracted From Cloud Droplets and Its Effect on Cloud Albedo, Journal of Geophysical. Research, 94(D6), 8623–8631, doi:10.1029/JD094iD06p08623.
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  • This work was supported in part by NSF grant ATM-86-07377, by NSI grant ATM-86-15344, and by NOAA grant NAB85ABH0031 (funded through the Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean) to researchers at the University of Washington, and in part by the Defense Nuclear Agency, through funds made available under document 57-0343 from Sandia National Laboratory. Radiative transfer calculations were supported by NSF grant ATM-86-05134 and were conducted at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Deborah Campbell (deborah.campbell@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-05-02T17:12:32Z No. of bitstreams: 1 TwohyCH.CEOAS.LightAbsorbingMaterial.pdf: 967569 bytes, checksum: 53ab569d226ea69a221ef91e0caddff6 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2012-05-02T17:12:32Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 TwohyCH.CEOAS.LightAbsorbingMaterial.pdf: 967569 bytes, checksum: 53ab569d226ea69a221ef91e0caddff6 (MD5) Previous issue date: 1989

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