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A schematic diagram describing the impacts of cloud-surface-coupling on the aerosol-cloud-interaction. When a cloud is coupled with the surface, a cloud is formed near the top of the planetary boundary-layer (PBL) that interacts strongly with the well-mixed aerosol, whereas they have little interaction under decoupled conditions. As aerosol alters cloud microphysics (more aerosol leads to more cloud droplets of smaller particle size that makes cloud brighter), solar radiation reflected by cloud is more under coupled conditions than under decoupled conditions, or a stronger cooling effect as indicated by the orange arrows. As a result, lack of accounting for the cloud-surface coupling tends to result in an underestimation of aerosol indirect radiative forcing, which is likely a major contributing factor to the systematic discrepancies between observation-based and model-based estimate of the aerosol cooling effect. Adapted from Su et al. (2024, Sci. Adv.).

Aerosols Affect Climate More Than We Think

A key to improve climate prediction is to improve understanding of the impact of aerosol on clouds, or commonly known as the aerosol-cloud-interaction according to a new study led by Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) researchers published today in Science Advances.

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Sampa Das poses for the camera

Sampa Das Receives 2023 Robert H. Goddard Honor Award

ESSIC Research Scientist Sampa Das has been selected as a recipient of the 2023 Robert H. Goddard Honor Award, NASA’s Center-level award selected annually by an awards committee based on the nominations from the peers. Das received an award under the category of “Excellence in Science”. She is one of the 9 individuals selected for 2023 across the Sciences and Exploration Directorate.

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Zhanqing Li. Image credit: John T. Consoli/Faye Levine/University of Maryland. Effects by Nuwan Paditha (Click image to download hi-res version)

Zhanqing Li Receives Fulbright Specialist Award

Distinguished University Professor (DUP) Zhanqing Li has received a Fulbright Specialist Program award, a prestigious honor bestowed by the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to support Dr. Li’s month-long visit of the Universite de Lille in Lille, France, where he will be collaborating on studies concerning air pollution and interactions with global climate changes by means of remote sensing and AI techniques.

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Jifu Yin presents “Refinement of NOAA AMSR-2 Soil Moisture Data Product using an Optimal Machine Learning Model”

ESSIC Scientists Present at NCWCP-UMD Mini-Conference

Recently, researchers from NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP) and University of Maryland gathered for a mini-conference to share presentations from recent conferences such as the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and American Meteorological Society (AMS) annual meetings.

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A headshot of Jing, wearing a suit in front of a blue backdrop

Wei Named Associate Editor of JGR: Atmospheres

Jing Wei has been appointed an Associate Editor for the journal JGR: Atmospheres of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). As an Associate Editor, Wei will maintain and improve the quality of the journal, facilitate a timely review process, and assist the editor to solicit important and thought-provoking articles. JGR: Atmospheres (IF = 5.22) publishes original research articles that advance and improve the understanding of atmospheric properties and processes, including the interaction of the atmosphere with other components of the Earth system, as well as their roles in climate variability and change.

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Top of the atmosphere normalized radiance (a), and degree of linear (b) and circular (c, multiplied by 103) polarization as a function of aerosol optical depth (AOD) at 550 um for selected near-UV to near-IR wavelengths angle 142.5 (SZAD40, VZAD40, RelAzimD120).

Circular Polarization in Atmospheric Aerosols

ESSIC Scientist Santiago Gasso is first author on a new paper in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics that provides an overview of aerosol sources of circular polarization in the atmosphere and discusses possible remote sensing signatures.

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