Disclaimer: This material is being kept online for historical purposes. Though accurate at the time of publication, it is no longer being updated. The page may contain broken links or outdated information, and parts may not function in current web browsers. Visit https://espo.nasa.gov for information about our current projects.


Evidence for the Predominance of Mid-Tropospheric Aerosols as Subtropical Anvil...

Fridlind, A. M., A. S. Ackerman, E. Jensen, A. Heymsfield, M. Poellot, D. E. Stevens, D. Wang, L. M. Miloshevich, D. Baumgardner, P. Lawson, J. Wilson, R. C. Flagan, J. H. Seinfeld, H. H. Jonsson, T. M. VanReken, V. Varutbangkul, and T. A. Rissman (2004), Evidence for the Predominance of Mid-Tropospheric Aerosols as Subtropical Anvil Cloud Nuclei, Science, 304, 718.

NASA’s recent Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers–Florida Area Cirrus Experiment focused on anvil cirrus clouds, an important but poorly understood element of our climate system. The data obtained included the first comprehensive measurements of aerosols and cloud particles throughout the atmospheric column during the evolution of multiple deep convective storm systems. Coupling these new measurements with detailed cloud simulations that resolve the size distributions of aerosols and cloud particles, we found several lines of evidence indicating that most anvil crystals form on midtropospheric rather than boundary-layer aerosols. This result defies conventional wisdom and suggests that distant pollution sources may have a greater effect on anvil clouds than do local sources.

Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)