Ground-based Remote Sensing of Aerosol, Clouds, Dynamics, and Precipitation in Antarctica – First results from the one-year COALA campaign at Neumayer Station III in 2023

Novel observations of aerosol and clouds by means of ground-based remote sensing have been performed in Antarctica over the Ekström ice shelf on the coast of Dronning Maud Land at Neumayer Station III (70.67°S, 8.27°W) from January to December 2023. The deployment of OCEANET-Atmosphere remote-sensing observatory in the framework of the Continuous Observations of Aerosol-cLoud interAction (COALA) campaign brought ACTRIS aerosol and cloud profiling capabilities next to meteorological and air chemistry in-situ observations at the Antarctic station. We present an overview of the site, the instrumental setup and data analysis strategy and introduce 3 scientific highlights from austral fall and winter, namely: 1. Observations of a persistent mixed-phase cloud embedded in a plume of marine aerosol. Remote-sensing-based retrievals of cloud-relevant aerosol properties and cloud microphysical parameters confirm that the free-tropospheric mixed phase cloud layer formed in an aerosol-limited environment. 2. Two extraordinary warm air intrusions. One with intense snowfall produced the equivalent of 10% of the yearly snow accumulation, a second one with record-breaking maximum temperatures and heavy icing due to supercooled drizzle. 3. Omnipresent aerosol layers in the stratosphere. Our profiling capabilities could show that 50% of the 500-nm aerosol optical depth of 0.06 was caused by stratospheric aerosol, while the troposphere was usually pristine. As demonstrated by these highlights, the one-year COALA observations will serve as a reference dataset for the vertical structure of aerosol and clouds above the region, enabling future observational and modeling studies to advance understanding of atmospheric processes in Antarctica.


Publication status:
Published Online
Authors: Radenz, Martin, Engelmann, Ronny, Henning, Silvia, Schmithüsen, Holger, Baars, Holger, Frey, Markus M. ORCIDORCID record for Markus M. Frey, Weller, Rolf, Bühl, Johannes, Jimenez, Cristofer, Roschke, Johanna, Muser, Lukas Ole, Wullenweber, Nellie, Zeppenfeld, Sebastian, Griesche, Hannes, Wandinger, Ulla, Seifert, Patric

On this site: Markus Frey
14 June, 2024
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
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