Antarctic clouds constitute an important parameter of the surface radiation budget and thus play a significant role in Antarctic climate and climate change. The variability in, and long term trends of, cloud optical and microphysical properties are therefore fundamental in parameterizing the mixed phase (water-snow-ice) coastal Antarctic stratiform clouds experienced around the continent.

Using a spectoradiometer that covers the wavelength range of 350 to 2200nm, the downwelled spectral irradiance at the earth surface (Ross Island) will be used to retrieve the optical depth, thermodynamic phase, liquid water droplet effective radius, and ice-cloud effective particle size of overhead clouds, at hourly intervals and for an austral summer season (Oct-March). Based on the very limited data sets that exist for the maritime Antarctic, expectations are that Ross Island (Lat 78 S) should exhibit clouds with: a) An abundance of supercooled liquid water, and related mixed-phase cloud processes b) Cloud nucleation from year round biogenic and oceanic sources, in an otherwise pristine environment c) Simple cloud geometries of predominantly stratiform cloud decks

Increased understanding of the cloud properties in the region of the main USAP base, McMurdo station is also relevant to operational weather forecasting relevant to aviation. A range of educational and outreach activities are associate with the project, including provision of workshops for high school teachers will be carried out.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Division of Polar Programs (PLR)
Type
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
1141939
Program Officer
Peter J. Milne
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2012-08-15
Budget End
2015-07-31
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$511,563
Indirect Cost
Name
University of California-San Diego Scripps Inst of Oceanography
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
La Jolla
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
92093