Articles | Volume 10, issue 5
Research article
01 Jun 2017
Research article |  | 01 Jun 2017

Monitoring aerosol–cloud interactions at the CESAR Observatory in the Netherlands

Karolina Sarna and Herman W. J. Russchenberg

Abstract. The representation of aerosol–cloud interaction (ACI) processes in climate models, although long studied, still remains the source of high uncertainty. Very often there is a mismatch between the scale of observations used for ACI quantification and the ACI process itself. This can be mitigated by using the observations from ground-based remote sensing instruments. In this paper we presented a direct application of the aerosol–cloud interaction monitoring technique (ACI monitoring). ACI monitoring is based on the standardised Cloudnet data stream, which provides measurements from ground-based remote sensing instruments working in synergy. For the data set collected at the CESAR Observatory in the Netherlands we calculate ACI metrics. We specifically use attenuated backscatter coefficient (ATB) for the characterisation of the aerosol properties and cloud droplet effective radius (re) and number concentration (Nd) for the characterisation of the cloud properties. We calculate two metrics: ACIr  =  ln(re)/ln(ATB) and ACIN  =  ln(Nd)/ln(ATB). The calculated values of ACIr range from 0.001 to 0.085, which correspond to the values reported in previous studies. We also evaluated the impact of the vertical Doppler velocity and liquid water path (LWP) on ACI metrics. The values of ACIr were highest for LWP values between 60 and 105 g m−2. For higher LWP other processes, such as collision and coalescence, seem to be dominant and obscure the ACI processes. We also saw that the values of ACIr are higher when only data points located in the updraught regime are considered. The method presented in this study allow for monitoring ACI daily and further aggregating daily data into bigger data sets.