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The turbulent structure of the Arctic summer boundary layer during the Arctic Summer Cloud-Ocean Study

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Mauritsen,  Thorsten
Climate Dynamics, The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Brooks, I., Tjernström, M., Persson, P., Shupe, M., Atkinson, R., Canut, G., et al. (2017). The turbulent structure of the Arctic summer boundary layer during the Arctic Summer Cloud-Ocean Study. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 122, 9685-9704. doi:10.1002/2017JD027234.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002E-1038-6
Abstract
The mostly ice covered Arctic Ocean is dominated by low-level liquid- or mixed-phase clouds. Turbulence within stratocumulus is primarily driven by cloud top cooling that induces convective instability. Using a suite of in situ and remote sensing instruments we characterize turbulent mixing in Arctic stratocumulus, and for the first time we estimate profiles of the gradient Richardson number at relatively high resolution in both time (10 min) and altitude (10 m). It is found that the mixing occurs both within the cloud, as expected, and by wind shear instability near the surface. About 75 of the time these two layers are separated by a stably stratified inversion at 100–200 m altitude. Exceptions are associated with low cloud bases that allow the cloud-driven turbulence to reach the surface. The results imply that turbulent coupling between the surface and the cloud is sporadic or intermittent. ©2017. The Authors.