Ajoku, O., A. J. Miller and J. R. Norris, 2021:

Impacts of aerosols produced by biomass burning on the Stratocumulus-to-Cumulus Transition in the equatorial Atlantic

Atmospheric Science Letters, 22, e1025.

Abstract. The impact of aerosols produced by biomass burning on the stratocumulus-to-cumulus transition (SCT) in the equatorial Atlantic is studied using satellite-based and reanalysis data for the month of June. The month of June is highlighted because it represents monsoon onset as well as the largest sea surface temperature gradient in the summer, which is the peak season of tropical African biomass burning. Boundary layer deepening and increasing temperatures put the location of the SCT within the Gulf of Guinea. Satellite retrievals indicate that the bulk of aerosols occurs near 1500m in altitude, either above or below the boundary layer depending on latitudinal position. Changes in smoke loading over the Gulf of Guinea due to greater transport from southern Africa leads to increases in low-level cloud cover above cloud decks and decreases when mixed within the boundary layer. Further south, we find significant changes to temperature, cloud top height, tropospheric stability and moisture availability near maximum aerosol loading. In addition, changes in vertical velocity during dirty conditions further reinforce changes in tropospheric stability. These effects combine to shorten the SCT in space during increased aerosol loading episodes.

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