Clouds over the Southern Ocean and Antarctica have large impacts on the Earth’s energy budget. The net radiative forcing of Southern Ocean clouds largely depends on the thermodynamic phases, i.e., ice, liquid and mixed-phase.
It is challenging to separate various cloud phases by relying on a single type of observational techniques. To resolve this challenge, we developed a comprehensive method that incorporates a suite of instrumentation onboard the National Science Foundation (NSF) Gulfstream-V research aircraft to understand cloud microphysical and macrophysical characteristics.
We further use in-situ observations to evaluate the representations of ice, liquid and mixed-phase clouds in the global climate model (GCM) simulations. Specifically, the GCM model we use is the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Atmosphere Model (CAM).
Linking the observations with model simulations will help us to provide more accurate presentations of clouds in climate simulations, and therefore providing a better prediction of future climate.