ORACLES Version 2 Data Release Announcement

Jan. 29, 2021, 7 a.m.

Project: ORACLES

The Atmospheric Science Data Center (ASDC) has released a second version of the dataset for the ObseRvations of Aerosols above CLouds and their intEractionS (ORACLES) experiment. ORACLES was a five-year investigation composed of three intensive observation periods (mostly occurring in September 2016, August 2017, and October 2018). The primary objective of ORACLES was to investigate the processes involved in the climate impacts of biomass burning (BB) aerosol particles in Southern Africa, where almost a third of the Earth’s BB aerosol particles originate. These aerosols are then transported to the Southeastern Atlantic Ocean, which is the location of one of the Earth’s three critical Stratocumulus (Sc) cloud decks. The interaction of these aerosol particles with the Southeastern Atlantic Sc cloud deck is key to understanding the impact of BB aerosol particles on climate. The Southeastern Atlantic Ocean is also noteworthy to understanding climate as it experiences some of the highest inter-model differences in aerosol forcing. ORACLES provided multi-year airborne observations over the complete vertical column of key parameters driving aerosol-cloud interactions in the Southeastern Atlantic Ocean to investigate these differences. These observations improve both the understanding of the impacts of radiative heat forcing on cloud properties and model simulations of long-range aerosol transport in remote regions. The NASA P-3 and ER-2 were used to capture these observations. The P-3 acted as a low-flying aircraft that obtained both in-situ and remote sensing measurements during all three campaigns. The ER-2 acted as a high-altitude aircraft that enhanced satellite-based observations by resolving variabilities in scenes and by developing and improving remote sensing techniques. Data files are available for all three deployments in ICARTT, NetCDF4, and HDF5 format.

More information about ORACLES can be found at the project homepage.

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