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Centre for Atmospheric Science

Ground Based Studies

Ground based cloud studies have long been used to make detailed in-situe measurements of cloud properties and the Centre for Atmospheric Science has been involved in these measurements almost since the group began. Hill and mountain top sites around the world have been used to study the properties of warm, mixed phase and glaciated clouds and how these properties depend on the properties of the aerosol population entering the cloud. Some of these studies also allow the effects of cloud processing on the aerosol population to be studied. These studies may be separated into three main activities: multiple site orographic hill cap cloud experiments (warm cloud); single site experiments to study warm cloud; single site experiments to study mixed phase and glaciated cloud. More details of each of these activities can be found by following the links below.

ACE-2 summit site

Multiple Site Orographic Hill Cap Cloud Experiments

These experiments are used to make detailed studies of cloud – aerosol interaction, including effects of aerosol on cloud, and cloud on aerosol. Click here for more details.

Holme Moss site

Single Site Cloud Experiments

These experiments are used to study the effects of aerosol on cloud properties. Click here for more details.


Ice Cloud Characterisation Experiments

Ground based sites which experience sufficiently cold conditions are used to study properties of ice and mixed phase cloud. How these clouds are affected by aerosol properties is currently an important area of research. Click here for more details.

While the range of cloud types which may be studied using ground based in situe measurements is limited when compared to airborne studies, ground based studies are ideal for making long term (days / weeks rather than hours) detailed measurements of cloud properties. A larger range of instrumentation can be deployed and measurements can be made of parameters such as the chemical composition of cloud particles which cannot easily be made from the air.

The following are some examples of ground based cloud studies:

Further information about some of the instruments used for ground based studies may be found here, and some of the field stations are described in detail here.