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Southern Ocean cloud and aerosol data: a compilation of measurements from the 2018 Southern Ocean Ross Sea Marine Ecosystems and Environment voyage

Due to its remote location and extreme weather conditions, atmospheric in situ measurements are rare in the Southern Ocean. As a result, aerosol–cloud interactions in this region are poorly understood and remain a major source of uncertainty in climate models. This, in turn, contributes substantially to persistent biases in climate model simulations such as the well-known positive shortwave radiation bias at the surface, as well as biases in numerical weather prediction models and reanalyses. It has been shown in previous studies that in situ and ground-based remote sensing measurements across the Southern Ocean are critical for complementing satellite data sets due to the importance of boundary layer and low-level cloud processes. These processes are poorly sampled by satellite-based measurements and are often obscured by multiple overlying cloud layers. Satellite measurements also do not constrain the aerosol–cloud processes very well with imprecise estimation of cloud condensation nuclei. In this work, we present a comprehensive set of ship-based aerosol and meteorological observations collected on the 6-week Southern Ocean Ross Sea Marine Ecosystem and Environment voyage (TAN1802) voyage of RV Tangaroa across the Southern Ocean, from Wellington, New Zealand, to the Ross Sea, Antarctica. The voyage was carried out from 8 February to 21 March 2018. Many distinct, but contemporaneous, data sets were collected throughout the voyage. The compiled data sets include measurements from a range of instruments, such as (i) meteorological conditions at the sea surface and profile measurements; (ii) the size and concentration of particles; (iii) trace gases dissolved in the ocean surface such as dimethyl sulfide and carbonyl sulfide; (iv) and remotely sensed observations of low clouds. Here, we describe the voyage, the instruments, and data processing, and provide a brief overview of some of the data products available. We encourage the scientific community to use these measurements for further analysis and model evaluation studies, in particular, for studies of Southern Ocean clouds, aerosol, and their interaction. The data sets presented in this study are publicly available at (Kremser et al.2020).


Observing cloud and aerosol interactions