Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 10955-10964, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-10955-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
02 Oct 2015
A study of the impact of synoptic weather conditions and water vapor on aerosol–cloud relationships over major urban clusters of China
K. Kourtidis1, S. Stathopoulos1, A. K. Georgoulias1,2,3, G. Alexandri1,4, and S. Rapsomanikis1 1Laboratory of Atmospheric Pollution and Pollution Control Engineering of Atmospheric Pollutants, School of Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, 67100 Xanthi, Greece
2Department of Meteorology and Climatology, School of Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
3Energy, Environment and Water Research Center, The Cyprus Institute, Nicosia, Cyprus
4Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics, Physics Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
Abstract. The relationships between aerosol optical depth (AOD), cloud cover (CC), and cloud top pressure (CTP) over three major urban clusters in China are studied under different sea level pressure (SLP) and water vapor (WV) regimes using a decade (2003–2013) of MODIS satellite-retrieved data. Over all urban clusters, for all SLP regimes, CC is found to increase with AOD, thus pointing out that the CC dependence on AOD cannot be explained by synoptic covariation, as approximated by SLP, alone. WV is found to have a stronger impact on CC than AOD. This impact is more pronounced at high aerosol load than at low aerosol load. Hence, studies of AOD–CC relationships, based on satellite data, will greatly overestimate the AOD impact on CC in regions where AOD and WV have similar seasonal variations, while they will probably underestimate the AOD impact in regions where AOD and WV have opposite seasonal variations. Further, this impact shows that the hydrological cycle interferes with the aerosol climatic impact and we need to improve our understanding of this interference. Our results also suggest that studies attributing CTP long-term changes to changes in aerosol load might have a WV bias.

Citation: Kourtidis, K., Stathopoulos, S., Georgoulias, A. K., Alexandri, G., and Rapsomanikis, S.: A study of the impact of synoptic weather conditions and water vapor on aerosol–cloud relationships over major urban clusters of China, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 10955-10964, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-10955-2015, 2015.
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Short summary
The impact of aerosols on cloud cover (CC) under the influence of water vapor is studied using a decade of satellite observations. Water vapor is found to have a stronger impact on CC than aerosols. The water vapor impact shows that the hydrological cycle interferes with the aerosol climatic impact, and we need to improve our understanding of this interference.
The impact of aerosols on cloud cover (CC) under the influence of water vapor is studied using a...
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