loading page

Distinct regional meteorological influences on low cloud albedo susceptibility over global marine stratocumulus regions
  • Jianhao Zhang,
  • Graham Feingold
Jianhao Zhang
CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder; Chemical Sciences Laboratory at NOAA

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Graham Feingold
CSD, ESRL, NOAA, Boulder
Author Profile


Marine stratocumuli cool the Earth effectively due to their high reflectance of incoming solar radiation, and persistent occurrence. The susceptibility of cloud albedo to droplet number concentration perturbations depends strongly on large-scale meteorological conditions. Studies focused on the meteorological dependence of cloud adjustments often overlook the covariability among meteorological factors and their geographical and temporal variability. We use 8 years of satellite and reanalysis data sorted by day and geographical location to show that large-scale meteorological factors, including lower-tropospheric stability, free-tropospheric relative humidity, sea surface temperature, and boundary layer depth, have distinct covariabilities over each of the eastern subtropical ocean basins where marine stratocumulus prevail. This leads to markedly different monthly evolution in albedo susceptibility over each basin. Our results stress the importance of considering the geographical distinctiveness of temporal meteorological covariability when scaling up the local-to-global response of cloud albedo to aerosol perturbations.