Li, R, Min, QL, Harrison, LC (2010). A Case Study: The Indirect Aerosol Effects of Mineral Dust on Warm Clouds. JOURNAL OF THE ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES, 67(3), 805-816.
The indirect aerosol effect (Twomey effect) is studied during a Saharan dust-transport event that presented an unusually favorable combination of a dust-loading gradient across clouds with warm cloud-top temperatures. Standard retrievals from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for Earth Observing System (AMSR-E), and the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) provide cloud-top temperature (a surrogate for height), liquid water path (LWP), classification of precipitation regime, and radiation flux. The authors correlate a retrieved mean effective droplet radius (r(e)) versus the number concentration of cloud condensation nuclei (N-CCN), using the regressed slope d Inr(e)/d InNCCN as the estimator of the aerosol indirect effect (AIE). Results demonstrate statistically significant AIE for only some of the segregated cloud classes. For nonprecipitating clouds (the most direct test of Twomey effect), the estimated AIE is effectively -0.07 over all wider temperature bands and is statistically significant from 1.110 1.9 sigma. Further classification by LWP strengthens both the ATE (for all LWP > 150 g m(-2)) to approximately -0.16, and substantially increases the statistical significance, to better than 5 sigma. Shortwave radiation forcing of dust aerosols is also estimated directly from satellite measurements. The direct shortwave (SW) radiation effect of Saharan dusts at solar zenith angle 21.6 degrees is 53.48 +/- 8.56 W m(-2) per unit aerosol optical depth, with a correlation coefficient of 0.92. The indirect SW forcing of Saharan dust is 29.88 +/- 2.42 W m(-2) per unit AOD for clouds with LWP of 100 g m(-2).