Scientific Results

Supercooled liquid water cloud observed, analysed, and modelled at the top of the planetary boundary layer above Dome C, Antarctica

Year: 2020

Authors: Ricaud P., Del Guasta M., Bazile E., Azouz N., Lupi A., Durand P., Attie JL., Veron D., Guidard V., Grigioni P.

Autors Affiliation: Univ Toulouse, CNRM, Meteo France, CNRS, Toulouse, France;‎ CNR, INO, Sesto Fiorentino, Italy; CNR, ISAC, Bologna, Italy;‎ Univ Toulouse, CNRS, UPS, Lab Aerol, Toulouse, France; Univ Delaware, Newark, DE USA; ENEA, Rome, Italy

Abstract: A comprehensive analysis of the water budget over the Dome C (Concordia, Antarctica) station has been performed during the austral summer 2018-2019 as part of the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) international campaign. Thin (similar to 100 m deep) supercooled liquid water (SLW) clouds have been detected and analysed using remotely sensed observations at the station (tropospheric depolarization lidar, the H2O Antarctica Microwave Stratospheric and Tropospheric Radiometer (HAMSTRAD), net surface radiation from the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN)), radiosondes, and satellite observations (CALIOP, Cloud-Aerosol LIdar with Orthogonal Polarization/CALIPSO, Cloud Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations) combined with a specific configuration of the numerical weather prediction model: ARPEGESH (Action de Recherche Petite Echelle Grande Echelle – Southern Hemisphere). The analysis shows that SLW clouds were present from November to March, with the greatest frequency occurring in December and January when similar to 50 % of the days in summer time exhibited SLW clouds for at least 1 h. Two case studies are used to illustrate this phenomenon. On 24 December 2018, the atmospheric planetary boundary layer (PBL) evolved following a typical diurnal variation, which is to say with a warm and dry mixing layer at local noon thicker than the cold and dry stable layer at local midnight. Our study showed that the SLW clouds were observed at Dome C within the entrainment and the capping inversion zones at the top of the PBL. ARPEGE-SH was not able to correctly estimate the ratio between liquid and solid water inside the clouds with the liquid water path (LWP) strongly underestimated by a factor of 1000 compared to observations. The lack of simulated SLW in the model impacted the net surface radiation that was 20-30 W M-2 higher in the BSRN observations than in the ARPEGE-SH calculations, mainly attributable to the BSRN longwave downward surface radiation being 50 W M-2 greater than that of ARPEGE-SH. The second case study took place on 20 December 2018, when a warm and wet episode impacted the PBL with no clear diurnal cycle of the PBL top. SLW cloud appearance within the entrainment and capping inversion zones coincided with the warm and wet event. The amount of liquid water measured by HAMSTRAD was similar to 20 times greater in this perturbed PBL than in the typical PBL. Since ARPEGE-SH was not able to accurately reproduce these SLW clouds, the discrepancy between the observed and calculated net surface radiation was even greater than in the typical PBL case, reaching +50 W M-2, mainly attributable to the downwelling longwave surface radiation from BSRN being 100 W M-2 greater than that of ARPEGE-SH. The model was then run with a new partition function favouring liquid water for temperatures below -20 down to -40 degrees C. In this test mode, ARPEGE-SH has been able to generate SLW clouds with modelled LWP and net surface radiation consistent with observations during the typical case, whereas, during the perturbed case, the modelled LWP was 10 times less than the observations and the modelled net surface radiation remained lower than the observations by similar to 50 W M-2. Accurately modelling the presence of SLW clouds appears crucial to correctly simulate the surface energy budget over the Antarctic Plateau.


Volume: 20 (7)      Pages from: 4167  to: 4191

DOI: 10.5194/acp-20-4167-2020

Citations: 1
data from “WEB OF SCIENCE” (of Thomson Reuters) are update at: 2021-02-28
References taken from IsiWeb of Knowledge: (subscribers only)
Connecting to view paper tab on IsiWeb: Click here
Connecting to view citations from IsiWeb: Click here