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Adaptive behavior of marine cellular clouds.

Koren I, Feingold G - Sci Rep (2013)

Bottom Line: Shallow marine clouds appear in two formations - open cells that are weakly reflective and closed cells that are more reflective and hence more effective at cooling the climate system.Lagrangian satellite data analysis reveals that open cells oscillate, forming and disappearing with a periodicity of ~3 hours.These dynamical states are linked to two theoretical solutions of population dynamics.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Sciences Weizmann Institute, Rehovot 76100, Israel. ilan.koren@weizmann.ac.il

ABSTRACT
Shallow marine clouds appear in two formations - open cells that are weakly reflective and closed cells that are more reflective and hence more effective at cooling the climate system. Lagrangian satellite data analysis reveals that open cells oscillate, forming and disappearing with a periodicity of ~3 hours. In contrast, closed cells maintain rigid structures for periods of more than 10 hours, suggesting that self-organisation breaks the link between the lifetime and the scale of a convective entity. These dynamical states are linked to two theoretical solutions of population dynamics.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Open and closed cell formations in shallow marine clouds over the South Pacific Ocean captured by the MODIS on NASA's Aqua satellite on April 17, 2010.The closed cells are the brighter areas with complete cloud cover, while the open cells expose the much darker ocean surface in the center of the cells. Note the complex fingering pattern between the open and closed decks, suggesting that for similar environmental conditions both can exist.
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f1: Open and closed cell formations in shallow marine clouds over the South Pacific Ocean captured by the MODIS on NASA's Aqua satellite on April 17, 2010.The closed cells are the brighter areas with complete cloud cover, while the open cells expose the much darker ocean surface in the center of the cells. Note the complex fingering pattern between the open and closed decks, suggesting that for similar environmental conditions both can exist.

Mentions: The clouds that form these large decks, in a wide range of environmental conditions, appear in two distinct dynamical formations: open or closed cells. Closed cells are characterised by rising air motions in the center of the cells that form shallow cloud surrounded by sinking air at the cloud-free edges. In contrast, in open-celled clouds, narrow, strong updrafts form thicker clouds along the cell walls, while areas of descending motions in the middle of the cell are mostly cloud-free. The dynamics of open cells are therefore akin to a negative image of the open ones. Closed cells typically have high cloud coverage and from space represent highly reflective surfaces while open cells have low coverage and low reflectance6 (Fig. 1). The intricate and aesthetic appeal of these cloud patterns has fascinated scientists for many decades. Natural and anthropogenic transitions between the states as well as the expected impacts on the climate system are subjects of many studies in the fields of climate-change and geoengineering78910.


Adaptive behavior of marine cellular clouds.

Koren I, Feingold G - Sci Rep (2013)

Open and closed cell formations in shallow marine clouds over the South Pacific Ocean captured by the MODIS on NASA's Aqua satellite on April 17, 2010.The closed cells are the brighter areas with complete cloud cover, while the open cells expose the much darker ocean surface in the center of the cells. Note the complex fingering pattern between the open and closed decks, suggesting that for similar environmental conditions both can exist.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3753593&req=5

f1: Open and closed cell formations in shallow marine clouds over the South Pacific Ocean captured by the MODIS on NASA's Aqua satellite on April 17, 2010.The closed cells are the brighter areas with complete cloud cover, while the open cells expose the much darker ocean surface in the center of the cells. Note the complex fingering pattern between the open and closed decks, suggesting that for similar environmental conditions both can exist.
Mentions: The clouds that form these large decks, in a wide range of environmental conditions, appear in two distinct dynamical formations: open or closed cells. Closed cells are characterised by rising air motions in the center of the cells that form shallow cloud surrounded by sinking air at the cloud-free edges. In contrast, in open-celled clouds, narrow, strong updrafts form thicker clouds along the cell walls, while areas of descending motions in the middle of the cell are mostly cloud-free. The dynamics of open cells are therefore akin to a negative image of the open ones. Closed cells typically have high cloud coverage and from space represent highly reflective surfaces while open cells have low coverage and low reflectance6 (Fig. 1). The intricate and aesthetic appeal of these cloud patterns has fascinated scientists for many decades. Natural and anthropogenic transitions between the states as well as the expected impacts on the climate system are subjects of many studies in the fields of climate-change and geoengineering78910.

Bottom Line: Shallow marine clouds appear in two formations - open cells that are weakly reflective and closed cells that are more reflective and hence more effective at cooling the climate system.Lagrangian satellite data analysis reveals that open cells oscillate, forming and disappearing with a periodicity of ~3 hours.These dynamical states are linked to two theoretical solutions of population dynamics.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Sciences Weizmann Institute, Rehovot 76100, Israel. ilan.koren@weizmann.ac.il

ABSTRACT
Shallow marine clouds appear in two formations - open cells that are weakly reflective and closed cells that are more reflective and hence more effective at cooling the climate system. Lagrangian satellite data analysis reveals that open cells oscillate, forming and disappearing with a periodicity of ~3 hours. In contrast, closed cells maintain rigid structures for periods of more than 10 hours, suggesting that self-organisation breaks the link between the lifetime and the scale of a convective entity. These dynamical states are linked to two theoretical solutions of population dynamics.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus