International Workshop on Antarctic Clouds

July 15 – 16, 2010
OSU / Byrd Polar Research Center
Columbus, Ohio, USA

The meeting will take place immediately following the annual Antarctic Meteorological Observation, Modeling, & Forecasting Workshop (AMOMFW, July 12-14), thus ensuring enhanced participation.

Sponsored by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the International Union on Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), the International Commission on Polar Meteorology (ICPM), Byrd Polar Research Center, and British Antarctic Survey.

Chairs of organizing committee: David Bromwich, Byrd Polar Research Center, The Ohio State University, USA and Tom Lachlan-Cope, British Antarctic Survey, UK.

Scientific Motivation and Objectives

Polar clouds and in particular Antarctic clouds have been studied very little. Although surface observations have been made of clouds in the Antarctic for the past 50 years, very few in situ measurements have been made. Satellite retrieval of cloud microphysical parameters is possible, but these retrievals have not been validated and assume that Antarctic clouds have similar microphysical properties to the more intensively studied mid latitude clouds. The microphysical properties of Antarctic clouds have a large impact on the radiation balance of the atmosphere and hence are critical for climate modeling. There is some evidence in particular that the number of ice nuclei within Antarctic clouds is under estimated within models and in situ measurements will be important to investigate this. Also mixed phase clouds may be very common in the Antarctic with dominant impacts on the surface temperatures, yet this is largely conjecture for which direct measurements are required to identify the governing processes.

In the next few years more in situ cloud measurements will be made in Antarctica. A workshop on Antarctic clouds in 2010 will be able to steer these measurements to investigate the parameters and geographical areas that will have the biggest impact on climate models. As well as informing future in situ campaigns, a workshop would identify the best possible measurements already made and suggest the most skilful cloud physics parameterizations for use within climate models. It will also investigate the best possible satellite retrieval methods.

The workshop will result in a review paper that will explore observational and modeling studies of Antarctic clouds and then suggest what future efforts are needed to dramatically improve their understanding.

Workshop Specifics

The two day workshop will consist of one day of invited talks followed by one day of working groups. Areas for consideration: Surface-based remote sensing of Antarctic clouds; Satellite-based remote sensing from Cloudsat, CALIPSO, etc.; Airborne measurements of Antarctic clouds; Regional modeling, including numerical weather prediction; and Climate Modeling of Antarctic clouds.

Publications following the Workshop

  • Bromwich, D. H., J. P. Nicolas, K. M. Hines, J. E. Kay, E. Key, M. A. Lazzara, D. Lubin, G. M. McFarquhar, I. Gorodetskaya, D. P. Grosvenor, T. A. Lachlan-Cope, and N. van Lipzig, 2012: Tropospheric Clouds in Antarctica. Reviews of Geophysics, 50, RG1004, doi: 10.1029/2011RG000363. Full Text (PDF)

  • Grosvenor, D. P., T. W. Choularton, T. Lachlan-Cope, M. W. Gallagher, J. Crosier, K. N. Bower, R. S. Ladkin, and J. R. Dorsey, 2012: In-situ aircraft observations of ice concentrations within clouds over the Antarctic Peninsula and Larsen Ice Shelf. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 11275-11294, doi:10.5194/acp-12-11275-2012. Link