Clouds, Aerosols and Oceans

Chair: Arnaud Heliere – Co-Chair: Chris A. Hostetler

Through their scattering and absorptive properties as well as their interactions, aerosols and clouds can produce a significant influence on the Earth’s radiation balance, and hence on climate. Cloud properties, precipitation and cloud lifetimes are intimately linked to aerosol properties. Pollution due to small size particles can be a threat to health especially in urban areas, and heterogeneous chemical processes can play a significant role in environmental modifications.

Optical and physical characteristics of aerosol particles and spatial distributions relative to their source locations are quite variable in time and space globally, especially in the troposphere. Volcanic aerosol plumes can have devastating effects on aircraft, and if the plumes reside in the stratosphere, significant effects on radiative transfer can occur as experienced, for example, after the 1991 eruption of Pinatubo.

Our oceans are strongly coupled to the atmospheres above them through various processes. Ocean surface height and winds, sub-surface temperature, biological activity, radiative and dynamical forcings at the ocean-atmosphere interface are all key parameters of the Earth system. New high resolution lidar altimetry missions are being proposed, and new techniques using lidar sounding are being explored for retrieving surface and sub-surface ocean properties. Air-sea gas transfer processes, ocean dynamics, biological activity or energy budgets can be revisited in the light of combined active and passive (optical and microwave) observations.

This session will focus on all aspects associated with the measurement of aerosols, clouds and ocean properties from space, including combinations of multiple measurement techniques using active and passive approaches.

The session will include invited talks describing past, present and future approaches for these measurements. Extended abstracts from the lidar community for inclusion into the Workshop Proceedings are encouraged. A White Paper and Session Summary highlighting the major points discussed at the Workshop will also be included in the Proceedings.