EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Impact of Clouds on Broadband Radiation Profiles in the Summer Arctic Measured by a Tethered Balloon During MOSAiC: First Results

Michael Lonardi1, Christian Pilz2, Ulrike Egerer2, André Ehrlich1, Matthew D. Shupe3,4, Holger Siebert1,2, and Manfred Wendisch1
Michael Lonardi et al.
  • 1Leipzig Institute for Meteorology, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany
  • 3Cooperative Institute for the Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 4Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Arctic boundary layer clouds play an important role in the Arctic amplification due to their impact on the radiative energy budget, e. g., local cooling at cloud top which strongly affects boundary-layer dynamics. High resolution in-situ data characterizing the irradiance profile in clouds over the Arctic sea ice are rare due to the accessibility of this region, the challenges posed by icing and the limited resolution of airborne measurements.

The tethered balloon system BELUGA (Balloon-bornE moduLar Utility for profilinG the lower Atmosphere) was deployed from the ice camp of the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of the Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) in July 2020. BELUGA consists of a 90 m³ helium-filled tethered balloon with maximum flight altitude of 1500 m and an adaptable scientific payload to characterize radiation, cloud, aerosol and turbulence properties which was specifically developed for Arctic tethered balloon operations.

Here a first analysis of vertical profiles of upwards and downwards solar and terrestrial irradiances in cloudy and cloud-free conditions is presented. Profiles of radiative heating were calculated and compared for different cloud covers. The case studies were evaluated by radiative transfer simulations  to quantify the impact of different cloud and atmospheric properties on the heating rate profiles. In combination with surface-based measurements, the cloud radiative forcing in the summer Arctic was assessed.

How to cite: Lonardi, M., Pilz, C., Egerer, U., Ehrlich, A., Shupe, M. D., Siebert, H., and Wendisch, M.: Impact of Clouds on Broadband Radiation Profiles in the Summer Arctic Measured by a Tethered Balloon During MOSAiC: First Results, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4923,, 2021.

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