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Journal Article

EUREC4A: An overview


Stevens,  Bjorn
Director’s Research Group AES, The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Stevens, B., Bony, S., Farrell, D., & 290 co-authors (submitted). EUREC4A: An overview.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-6A46-4
The science guiding the EUREC4A field campaign and its measurements are presented. EUREC4A comprised more than four weeks of measurements in the downstream winter trades of the North Atlantic — eastward and south-eastward of Barbados. Through its ability to characterize atmospheric, surface and oceanic processes operating across a very wide range of scales, EUREC4A marked a turning point in our ability to observationally study factors influencing clouds in the trades, how they will respond to warming, and their link to other components of the earth system, such as the mesoscale and sub-mesoscale dynamics of the upper ocean, the life-cycle of particulate matter, or air-sea gas exchange. This characterization was made possible by thousands (2500) of sondes distributed in space to measure circulations on meso (200 km) and larger (500 km) scales, roughly four hundred hours of flight time by four heavily instrumented research aircraft, four global-ocean class research vessels, an advanced ground based cloud observatory, a flotilla of autonomous or tethered measurement devices operating in the upper ocean (performing nearly 10000 profiles), lower atmosphere (continuous profiling), and along the air-sea interface, a network of stable water isotopologue measurements, complemented by a special programme of satellite remote sensing and modeling with a new generation of weather and climate models. In addition to providing an outline of the novel measurements and their composition into a unified and coordinated campaign, the six distinct scientific facets that EUREC4A explored — from Brazil Ring Current Eddies to turbulence induced clustering of cloud droplets and its influence on warm-rain formation — are presented along with an overview EUREC4A’s outreach activities, environmental impact, and guidelines for scientific practice.