Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published August 2019 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Aerosol–Cloud–Meteorology Interaction Airborne Field Investigations: Using Lessons Learned from the U.S. West Coast in the Design of ACTIVATE off the U.S. East Coast


We report on a multiyear set of airborne field campaigns (2005–16) off the California coast to examine aerosols, clouds, and meteorology, and how lessons learned tie into the upcoming NASA Earth Venture Suborbital (EVS-3) campaign: Aerosol Cloud meTeorology Interactions oVer the western ATlantic Experiment (ACTIVATE; 2019–23). The largest uncertainty in estimating global anthropogenic radiative forcing is associated with the interactions of aerosol particles with clouds, which stems from the variability of cloud systems and the multiple feedbacks that affect and hamper efforts to ascribe changes in cloud properties to aerosol perturbations. While past campaigns have been limited in flight hours and the ability to fly in and around clouds, efforts sponsored by the Office of Naval Research have resulted in 113 single aircraft flights (>500 flight hours) in a fixed region with warm marine boundary layer clouds. All flights used nearly the same payload of instruments on a Twin Otter to fly below, in, and above clouds, producing an unprecedented dataset. We provide here i) an overview of statistics of aerosol, cloud, and meteorological conditions encountered in those campaigns and ii) quantification of model-relevant metrics associated with aerosol–cloud interactions leveraging the high data volume and statistics. Based on lessons learned from those flights, we describe the pragmatic innovation in sampling strategy (dual-aircraft approach with combined in situ and remote sensing) that will be used in ACTIVATE to generate a dataset that can advance scientific understanding and improve physical parameterizations for Earth system and weather forecasting models, and for assessing next-generation remote sensing retrieval algorithms.

Additional Information

© 2019 American Meteorological Society. Final Form: 1 April 2019; Published online: 28 August 2019. ACTIVATE is a NASA Earth Venture Suborbital-3 (EVS-3) investigation, funded by NASA's Earth Science Division and managed through the Earth System Science Pathfinder Program Office. The lead author (A.S.) acknowledges support from NASA grant 80NSSC19K0442 in support of ACTIVATE. The Twin Otter campaigns were sponsored by ONR Grants N00014-11-1-0783, N00014-10-1-0811, N00014-10-1-0200, N00014-04-1-0118, N00014-16-1-2567, N00014-04-1-0018, and N00014-08-1-0465, while E-PEACE was also supported by NSF Grants AGS-1013423 and AGS-1008848. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Battelle Memorial Institute under contract DE-AC05-76RLO1830.

Attached Files

Published - bams-d-18-0100.1.pdf

Supplemental Material - 10.1175_BAMS-D-18-0100.2.pdf


Files (8.3 MB)
Name Size Download all
84.1 kB Preview Download
8.2 MB Preview Download

Additional details

August 19, 2023
October 18, 2023