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Evidence of Ice Crystals at Cloud Top of Arctic Boundary-layer Mixed-phase Clouds Derived from Airborne Remote Sensing : Volume 9, Issue 3 (23/06/2009)

By Ehrlich, A.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003984455
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 42
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Evidence of Ice Crystals at Cloud Top of Arctic Boundary-layer Mixed-phase Clouds Derived from Airborne Remote Sensing : Volume 9, Issue 3 (23/06/2009)  
Author: Ehrlich, A.
Volume: Vol. 9, Issue 3
Language: English
Subject: Science, Atmospheric, Chemistry
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Bierwirth, E., Wendisch, M., Lampert, A., Ehrlich, A., Mayer, B., Mioche, G., & Gayet, J. (2009). Evidence of Ice Crystals at Cloud Top of Arctic Boundary-layer Mixed-phase Clouds Derived from Airborne Remote Sensing : Volume 9, Issue 3 (23/06/2009). Retrieved from

Description: Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Mainz, Germany. The vertical distribution of ice crystals in Arctic boundary-layer mixed-phase (ABM) clouds was investigated by airborne remote sensing and in situ measurements during the Arctic Study of Tropospheric Aerosol, Clouds and Radiation (ASTAR) campaign in March and April 2007. From airborne measurements of spectral solar radiation reflected by the ABM clouds information on the spectral absorption of solar radiation by ice and liquid water cloud particles is derived. It is shown by calculation of the vertical weighting function of the measurements that the observed absorption of solar radiation is dominated by the upper cloud layers (50% within 200 m from cloud top). This vertical weighting function is shifted even closer to cloud top for wavelengths where absorption by ice is dominating. On this basis an indicator of the vertical distribution of ice crystals in ABM clouds is designed.

Applying the in situ measured microphysical properties, the cloud top reflectance was calculated by radiative transfer simulations and compared to measurements. It is found that ice crystals near cloud top (mixed-phase cloud top layer) are necessary to reproduce the measurements at wavelengths where absorption by ice is dominating. The observation of backscatter glories on top of the ABM clouds generally indicating liquid water droplets does not contradict the postulated presence of ice crystals. Radiative transfer simulations reproduce the observed glories even if the cloud top layer is of mixed-phase character.

Evidence of ice crystals at cloud top of Arctic boundary-layer mixed-phase clouds derived from airborne remote sensing

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