Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-410
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-410
 
22 Dec 2021
22 Dec 2021
Status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal AMT and is expected to appear here in due course.

Balloon borne aerosol-cloud interaction studies (BACIS): New observational techniques to understand and quantify aerosol effects on clouds

Varaha Ravi Kiran1, Madineni Venkat Ratnam1, Masatomo Fujiwara2, Herman Russchenberg3, Frank G. Wienhold4, Bomidi Lakshmi Madhavan1, Mekalathur Roja Raman5, Nandan Renju1, Sivan Thankamani Akhil Raj1, Alladi Hemanth Kumar1, and Saginela Ravindra Babu1 Varaha Ravi Kiran et al.
  • 1National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), Gadanki, 517 112, India
  • 2Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, 060-0810, Japan
  • 3Department of Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Delft University of Technology, Delft, 2628CD, The Netherlands
  • 4Institute of Atmospheric and Climate Science (IAC), Universitaetstrasse 16, Zurich, 8092, Switzerland
  • 5Department of Physics, Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, 517 502, India

Abstract. Better understanding of aerosol-cloud interaction processes is an important aspect to quantify the role of clouds and aerosols in the climate system. There have been significant efforts to explain the ways aerosols modulate cloud properties. However, from the observational point of view, it is indeed challenging to observe and/or verify some of these processes because no single instrument or platform is proven sufficient. With this motivation, a unique set of observational field campaigns named Balloon borne Aerosol Cloud Interaction Studies (BACIS) is proposed and conducted using balloon borne in-situ measurements in addition to the ground-based (Lidars, MST radar, LAWP, MWR, Ceilometer) and space borne (CALIPSO) remote sensing instruments from Gadanki (13.45° N, 79.2° E). So far, 15 campaigns have been conducted as a part of BACIS campaigns from 2017 to 2020. This paper presents the concept of observational approach, lists the major objectives of the campaigns, describes the instruments deployed, and discusses results from selected campaigns. Consistency in balloon borne measurements is assessed using the data from simultaneous observations of ground-based, space borne remote sensing instruments. A good agreement is found among multi-instrumental observations. Balloon borne in-situ profiling is found to complement the information provided by ground-based and/or space borne measurements. A combination of the Compact Optical Backscatter AerosoL Detector (COBALD) and Cloud Particle Sensor (CPS) sonde is employed for the first time to discriminate cloud and aerosol in an in-situ profile. A threshold value of COBALD color index (CI) for ice clouds is found to be between 18 and 20 and CI values for coarse mode aerosol particle range between 11 and 15. Using the data from balloon measurements, the relationship between cloud and aerosol is quantified for the liquid clouds. A statistically significant slope (aerosol-cloud interaction index) of 0.77 (0.86) found between aerosol back scatter from 300 m (400 m) below the cloud base and cloud particle count within the cloud indicates the role of aerosol in the cloud activation process. In a nutshell, the results presented here demonstrate the observational approach to quantify aerosol-cloud interactions and paves the way for further investigations using the approach.

Varaha Ravi Kiran et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Varaha Ravi Kiran et al.

Varaha Ravi Kiran et al.

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Short summary
We present the experimental results from a unique set of observational field campaigns named Balloon borne Aerosol Cloud Interaction Studies (BACIS). These campaigns are proposed and conducted using balloon borne in-situ measurements in addition to the ground-based and space borne remote sensing instruments. The results presented here demonstrate the observational approach to quantify aerosol-cloud interactions and paves the way for further investigations using the approach.