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Published August 15, 2000 | Published
Journal Article Open

A Case Study of Ship Track Formation in a Polluted Marine Boundary Layer


A case study of the effects of ship emissions on the microphysical, radiative, and chemical properties of polluted marine boundary layer clouds is presented. Two ship tracks are discussed in detail. In situ measurements of cloud drop size distributions, liquid water content, and cloud radiative properties, as well as aerosol size distributions (outside-cloud, interstitial, and cloud droplet residual particles) and aerosol chemistry, are presented. These are related to remotely sensed measurements of cloud radiative properties. The authors examine the processes behind ship track formation in a polluted marine boundary layer as an example of the effects of anthropogenic particulate pollution on the albedo of marine stratiform clouds.

Additional Information

© 2000 American Meteorological Society. (Manuscript received July 30, 1996, in final form August 6, 1997) We are indebted to the pilots, captain, and crews of the UW C-131A, the MRF C-130, the NRL airship, and the R/V Glorita for their excellent work during the field campaign. Drs. Wendell Nuss and Chuck Wash at NPS provided valuable forecasting and meteorological analysis during the campaign. This project was funded by the Office of Naval Research. The support provided by Bob Bluth from ONR was indispensable, and the project would not have been a success without his efforts.

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