Explaining the Role of Clouds-Circulation Coupling in Climate

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To solve the mysteries surrounding low-level tropical clouds and their reaction to the larger trade wind marine environment, researchers conducted a multi-national, multi-platform field campaign called EUREC4A –Elucidating the Roles of Clouds‐Circulation Coupling in Climate.

The EUREC4A campaign was carried out in the tropical western Atlantic near the island nation of Barbados and deployed an innovative array of measurement platforms, which included multiple research aircraft and ships, aerial and oceanic drones, and ground-based stations.

EUREC4A comprised various research components and deployed several innovative observational strategies, including an extensive network of water isotopic measurements in atmospheric water vapour, seawater, and precipitation to study the tropical shallow convective environment.

The goal of the isotopic measurements was to explain processes that regulate the hydroclimate state –for example, by identifying moisture sources, quantifying mixing between atmospheric layers, characterizing the microphysics that influences the formation and persistence of clouds and precipitation, and providing an extra constraint in the evaluation of numerical simulations.

During EUREC4A, researchers deployed seven water vapour isotopic analyzers on two aircraft, three ships, and the Barbados Cloud Observatory (BCO).

They collected precipitation samples for isotopic analysis at BCO and aboard four ships. In addition, three ships collected seawater for isotopic analysis. Data collection on-site spanned from 5 January through 22 February 2020 and covered the approximate area of 6 to 16°N and -50 to -60°W.

Moreover, water vapour isotope ratios were measured from a few meters to nearly 8 km above sea level.

The paper describes the full EUREC4A isotopic in situ data collection – providing extensive information about sampling strategies and data uncertainties and guiding readers to complementary remotely sensed water vapour isotope ratios.

Read the entire study by clicking the link provided in the “Source Citation” below.

Source Citation:

Bailey, A., Aemisegger, F., Villiger, L., Los, S. A., Reverdin, G., Quiñones Meléndez, E., Acquistapace, C., Baranowski, D. B., Böck, T., Bony, S., Bordsdorff, T., Coffman, D., de Szoeke, S. P., Diekmann, C. J., Dütsch, M., Ertl, B., Galewsky, J., Henze, D., Makuch, P., Noone, D., Quinn, P. K., ​​Rösch, M., Schneider, A., Schneider, M., Speich, S., Stevens, B., and Thompson, E.: Isotopic measurements in water vapor, precipitation, and seawater during EUREC4A, Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss. [preprint], https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2022-3, in review, 2022.

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