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Braga, Ramon Campos; Rosenfeld, Daniel; Weigel, Ralf; Jurkat, Tina; Andreae, Meinrat O.; Wendisch, Manfred; Pöhlker, Mira L.; Klimach, Thomas; Pöschl, Ulrich; Pöhlker, Christopher; Voigt, Christiane; Mahnke, Christoph; Borrmann, Stephan; Albrecht, Rachel I.; Molleker, Sergej; Vila, Daniel A.; Machado, Luiz A. T.; Artaxo, Paulo (2016)
Languages: English
Types: Unknown

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arxiv: Astrophysics::Galaxy Astrophysics, Physics::Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics
Reliable aircraft measurements of cloud microphysical properties are essential for understanding liquid convective cloud formation. In September 2014, the properties of convective clouds were measured with a Cloud Combination Probe (CCP), a Cloud and Aerosol Spectrometer (CAS-DPOL), and a cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) counter on board the HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft) aircraft during the ACRIDICON-CHUVA campaign over the Amazon region. An intercomparison of the cloud drop size distributions (DSDs) and the cloud water content derived from the different instruments generally shows good agreement within the instrumental uncertainties. The objective of this study is to validate several parameterizations for liquid cloud formation in tropical convection. To this end the directly measured cloud drop concentrations (Nd) near cloud base were compared with inferred values based on the measured cloud base updraft velocity (Wb) and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) vs. supersaturation (S) spectra. The measurements of Nd at cloud base were also compared with drop concentrations (Na) derived on the basis of an adiabatic assumption and obtained from the vertical evolution of cloud drop effective radius (re) above cloud base. The results demonstrate agreement of the measured and theoretically expected values of Nd based on CCN, S, Wb at cloud base, and the height profile of re. The measurements of NCCN(S) and Wb did reproduce the observed Nd. Furthermore, the vertical evolution of re with height reproduced the observation-based nearly adiabatic cloud base drop concentrations, Na. Achieving such good agreement is possible only with accurate measurements of DSDs. This agreement supports the validity of the applied parameterizations for continental convective cloud evolution, which now can be used more confidently in simulations and satellite retrievals.
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