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

Exploring the Effect of Aerosol on Marine Cloud Cover Using a Counterfactual Approach

Tom Goren1, Graham Feingold2, Edward Gryspeerdt3, Jan Kazil2,4, and Johannes Quaas1
Tom Goren et al.
  • 1Universität Leipzig, Institute for Meteorology, Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Chemical Sciences Division, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3Space and Atmospheric Physics Group, Imperial College, London, U.K.
  • 4Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA

Aerosol–cloud interactions in marine stratocumulus clouds (Sc) are among the most challenging frontiers in cloud–climate research. In particular, the cloud cover susceptibility to droplet concentration remained under-represented in the literature. We developed methodologies to estimate what would have been the cloud cover and the associated radiative effect of currently observed Sc, but in a hypothetical cleaner world. The first methodology uses a realistic Lagrangian large eddy simulation coupled with satellite observations and provides a process-oriented analysis. The other uses a simple model and provides a global estimate of the radiative impact. We found that overcast Sc decks would have broken up sooner had they not been influenced by anthropogenic aerosol, thereby causing a significant effective radiative forcing.

How to cite: Goren, T., Feingold, G., Gryspeerdt, E., Kazil, J., and Quaas, J.: Exploring the Effect of Aerosol on Marine Cloud Cover Using a Counterfactual Approach, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-12323,, 2022.