Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-733
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-733
19 Mar 2024
 | 19 Mar 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Measurement report: In-situ vertical profiles of below-cloud aerosol over the central Greenland Ice Sheet

Heather Guy, Andrew S. Martin, Erik Olson, Ian M. Brooks, and Ryan R. Neely III

Abstract. Surface radiative cooling in polar regions can generate persistent stability in the atmospheric boundary layer. Stable layers below clouds can decouple the cloud layer from the near-surface environment. Under these conditions, surface aerosol measurements are not necessarily representative of the near-cloud or intra-cloud aerosol populations. To better understand the variability in the vertical structure of aerosol properties over the central Greenland Ice Sheet, in-situ measurements of aerosol particle size distributions up to cloud base were made at Summit Station in July and August 2023. These measurements identified distinct vertical aerosol layers between the surface and cloud base associated thermodynamic decoupling layers. Such decoupling layers occur 49 % of the time during the summer in central Greenland, suggesting that surface aerosol measurements are insufficient to describe the cloud-relevant aerosol population half of the time. Experience during this first measurement season demonstrated the ability of a tethered balloon platform to operate effectively under icing conditions and at low surface pressure (< 680 hPa). The results presented here illustrate the value of vertically resolved in-situ measurements of aerosol properties to develop a nuanced understanding of the aerosol effects on cloud properties in polar regions.

Heather Guy, Andrew S. Martin, Erik Olson, Ian M. Brooks, and Ryan R. Neely III

Status: open (until 02 May 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
Heather Guy, Andrew S. Martin, Erik Olson, Ian M. Brooks, and Ryan R. Neely III

Data sets

ICECAPS tethered balloon campaign measurements 2023 Heather Guy, Ian M. Brooks, and Ryan R. Neely III https://gws-access.jasmin.ac.uk/public/icecaps/Helikite2023/

Ceilometer cloud base height measurements taken at Summit Station, Greenland - Arctic Observing Network program Matthew Shupe https://doi.org/10.18739/A20C4SM02

Radiosonde temperature and humidity profiles taken at Summit Station, Greenland - Arctic Observing Network program Von P Walden and Matthew Shupe https://doi.org/10.18739/A2445HD3Q

Heather Guy, Andrew S. Martin, Erik Olson, Ian M. Brooks, and Ryan R. Neely III

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Short summary
Aerosol particles impact cloud properties which influence Greenland Ice Sheet melt. Understanding the aerosol population that interacts with clouds is important for constraining future melt. Measurements of aerosols at cloud height over Greenland are rare, and surface measurements are often used to investigate cloud-aerosol interactions. We use a tethered balloon to measure aerosols up to cloud base and show that surface measurements are often not equivalent to those just below the cloud.