Tethered balloon-borne observations of thermal-infrared irradiance and cooling rate profiles in the Arctic atmospheric boundary layer Journal Article uri icon



  • Abstract. Clouds play an important role in controlling the radiative energy budget of the Arctic atmospheric boundary layer. To quantify their impact on diabatic heating or cooling of the atmosphere and of the surface, vertical profile observations of thermal-infrared irradiances were collected using a tethered balloon. We present 70 profiles of thermal-infrared radiative quantities measured in summer 2020 at the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition, and in autumn 2021 and spring 2022 in Ny-Ă…lesund, Svalbard. Measurements are classified into four groups: cloudless, low-level liquid-bearing cloud, elevated liquid-bearing cloud, and elevated ice cloud. Cloudless cases display a radiative cooling rate of about -2 K day-1. Observed low-level liquid-bearing clouds are characterized by a radiative cooling up to -80 K day-1 in a shallow layer at cloud top. Radiative transfer simulations are performed to quantify the sensitivity of radiative cooling rates to cloud microphysical properties. In particular, cloud top cooling has a strong response to variation of the liquid water path, especially in optically thin clouds, while for optically thick clouds the cloud droplet number concentration has an increased relative importance. Two case studies with a changing cloud cover are presented to investigate the temporal evolution of radiation profiles during the transitions between (a) cloudy to cloudless and (b) low-level to elevated clouds. Additional radiative transfer simulations are used to reproduce the observed scenarios and to showcase the radiative impacts of elevated liquid and ice clouds, demonstrating the increased radiative significance of the liquid clouds.;

publication date

  • July 26, 2023

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • August 2, 2023 6:15 AM

Full Author List

  • Lonardi M; Akansu EF; Ehrlich A; Mazzola M; Pilz C; Shupe MD; Siebert H; Wendisch M

author count

  • 8

Other Profiles