Ship-Track Clouds, Aerosol, and Ship Dynamic Effects; A Climate Perspective from Ship-Based Measurements

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Ship-track clouds are marine boundary layer clouds that form behind ocean ships and are observed from satellites in the visible and near infrared. Ship-track clouds provide a rare opportunity to connect aerosol cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) emissions and observable changes in marine stratiform clouds. A very small change in the reflectivity of these eastern Pacific and Atlantic clouds (about 4%) provides a climate feedback of similar magnitude to doubling CO{sub 2} (increasing cloud reflectivity corresponds to global cooling). The Department of Energy sponsored research from 1991 to 1995 to study ship-track clouds including two ocean-based experiments in the summers of ... continued below

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Porch, W.M. October 13, 1998.

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Ship-track clouds are marine boundary layer clouds that form behind ocean ships and are observed from satellites in the visible and near infrared. Ship-track clouds provide a rare opportunity to connect aerosol cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) emissions and observable changes in marine stratiform clouds. A very small change in the reflectivity of these eastern Pacific and Atlantic clouds (about 4%) provides a climate feedback of similar magnitude to doubling CO{sub 2} (increasing cloud reflectivity corresponds to global cooling). The Department of Energy sponsored research from 1991 to 1995 to study ship-track clouds including two ocean-based experiments in the summers of 1991 and 1994. These experiments showed that ship-track cloud properties were often more complex those related to a reduction of droplet size with an increase in number associated with increasing CCN from the ship's plume. The clouds showed evidence of morphological changes more likely to be associated with cloud dynamic effects either initiated by the increased CCN or directly by the ship's heat output or turbulent air wake. The fact that marine stratiform clouds, that are susceptible to ship track formation, are starved for both CCN and convective turbulence complicates the separation of the two effects.

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Medium: P; Size: vp.

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OSTI as DE00760029

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  • Air and Waste Management Association's 2nd International Conference on Global Climate Change, Washington, DC (US), 10/13/1998--10/15/1998

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  • Report No.: LA-UR-98-4279
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 760029
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc717688

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  • October 13, 1998

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  • Sept. 29, 2015, 5:31 a.m.

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  • March 29, 2016, 9:13 p.m.

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Porch, W.M. Ship-Track Clouds, Aerosol, and Ship Dynamic Effects; A Climate Perspective from Ship-Based Measurements, article, October 13, 1998; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc717688/: accessed November 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.