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Article Dans Une Revue Atmosphere Année : 2023

On the Trend in Below-Cloud Solar Irradiance in The Netherlands versus That in Aerosol Sulfate Concentration

Résumé

The below-cloud irradiance in The Netherlands increased by over 10 Wm−2 in the past half century. It was hypothesized that this could be due to a decrease in the aerosol serving as cloud condensation nuclei, on which the cloud droplets form, in the following way. With unchanged macrophysics, clouds with a lower number of droplets are less reflective, in other words, they transmit more solar radiation. This hypothesis cannot be substantiated with data because of a generic absence of long-term information on cloud droplet number concentrations (CDNCs) worldwide. To assess the historic trend in CDNC, we used the Boucher and Lohmann (B&L) empirical relationship between CDNC and the mass concentration of the water-attracting hygroscopic aerosol components. The B&L parameterization was tested and validated with observations from the CHIEF cloud chamber, in which the formation of marine stratocumulus, the most frequent cloud type in The Netherlands, is simulated. This study will focus on summer periods because the irradiance governs the yearly average at this latitude. The summer trend of sulfate, the most dominant hygroscopic component of observed aerosol mass concentration, was analyzed with EBAS data from 1972 onwards. The average summer CDNCs were then calculated via the B&L parameterization, showing an upper limit of 380 cm−3 in the 1970s and decreasing to around 200 cm−3 in the 2010s. The associated increase in transmission for thin marine stratocumulus without overlying clouds would be, at most, 3.5 W m−2. Unobstructed stratocumuli occur only part of the time, and the change in irradiance based on the reduction in cloud droplet number is certainly small in comparison to the empirically derived trend of 10 W m−2.
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hal-04459236 , version 1 (15-02-2024)

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Suzanne Crumeyrolle, Andrey Khlystov, Harry ten Brink. On the Trend in Below-Cloud Solar Irradiance in The Netherlands versus That in Aerosol Sulfate Concentration. Atmosphere, 2023, Atmosphere, 13, ⟨10.3390/atmos13122037⟩. ⟨hal-04459236⟩
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