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Atmospheric Composition

Because of uncertainty regarding the role of shattering of large ice crystals in artificially amplifying the measured concentrations of small ice crystals (sub 50 μm), questions have persisted regarding the interpretation of past in situ data sets. These uncertainties have hindered interpretation of remote sensing data as well as hindered progress in advancing our understanding of what controls the properties of cirrus clouds in the atmosphere. Hence our understanding of the role that cirrus clouds play in the climate system and how these cloud layers are represented in climate models remains poor. With a new generation of probes designed to minimize shattering artifacts, we can address cirrus science questions with more rigor and precision than in the past. I propose to participate in the NASA MACPEX project as part of the management and analysis team with a primary focus on using the in situ data set to improve our capacity for inferring cirrus properties from remote sensing data. The accuracy of cloud property retrieval algorithms in clouds composed of non-spherical particles relies on sets of empirical relationships that equate such properties as mass- and cross-sectional area with particle maximum dimension. Furthermore, our ability to rigorously determine error in retrieval algorithms relies on the covariances between measurables, retrieved properties, and empirical relationships. Our present state of uncertainty regarding these relationships limits knowledge of error on any retrieval from space or from the ground. Our primary focus, therefore, will be to 1) Conduct flight segments in collaboration with remote sensors whenever feasible, especially including the NASA A-Train as well as the ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) site. 2) Analyze all MACPEx data to establish relationships between empirical parameters and measureable quantities 3) Analyze past data sets in light of lessons learned from MACPEx to extend the results from items 1 and 2.

Project PI: Gerald Mace/University of Utah

University of Utah Department of Atmospheric Sciences 135 S 1460 E, RM 819 Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-0110

Phone: (801) 585-9489

Fax: (801) 585-3681

Email: jay.mace@utah.edu

http://www.met.utah.edu/people/faculty/department/gmace/index_html

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Started: Sep 27, 2010

Last Activity: Jan 04, 2011

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