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  • Córdoba-Jabonero, Carmen, et al. (författare)
  • Cirrus-induced shortwave radiative effects depending on their optical and physical properties : Case studies using simulations and measurements
  • 2020
  • Ingår i: Atmospheric research. - : Elsevier. - 0169-8095 .- 1873-2895. ; 246
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Cirrus (Ci) clouds play an important role in the atmospheric radiative balance, and hence in Climate Change. In this work, a polarized Micro-Pulse Lidar (P-MPL), standard NASA/Micro Pulse NETwork (MPLNET) system, deployed at the INTA/El Arenosillo station in Huelva (SW Iberian Peninsula) is used for Ci detection and characterization for the first time at this site. Three days were selected on the basis of the predominantly detected Ci clouds in dependence on their cloud optical depth (COD). Hence, three Ci cloud categories were examined at day-times for comparison with solar radiation issues: 19 cases of sub-visuals (svCi, COD: 0.01–0.03) on 1 October 2016, 7 cases of semitransparents (stCi, COD: 0.03–0.30) on 8 May 2017, and 17 cases of opaques (opCi, COD: 0.3–3.0)on 28 October 2016. Their radiative-relevant optical, macro- and micro-physical properties were retrieved. The mean COD for the svCi, stCi and opCi groups was 0.02 ± 0.01, 0.22 ± 0.08 and 0.93 ± 0.40, respectively; in overall, their lidar ratio ranged between 25 and 35 sr. Ci clouds were detected at 11–13 km height (top boundaries) with geometrical thicknesses of 1.7–2.0 km. Temperatures reported at those altitudes corresponded to lower values than the thermal threshold for homogenous ice formation. Volume linear depolarization ratios of 0.3–0.4 (and normalized backscattering ratios higher than 0.9) also confirmed Ci clouds purely composed of ice particles. Their effective radius was within the interval of 9–15 μm size, and the ice water path ranged from 0.02 (svCi) to 9.9 (opCi) g m−2. The Cirrus Cloud Radiative Effect (CCRE) was estimated using a RT model for Ci-free conditions and Ci-mode (Ci presence) scenarios. RT simulations were performed for deriving the CCRE at the top-of atmosphere (TOA) and on surface (SRF), and also the atmospheric CCRE, for the overall shortwave (SW) range and their spectral sub-intervals (UV, VIS and NIR). A good agreement was first obtained for the RT simulations as validated against solar radiation measurements under clean conditions for solar zenith angles less than 75° (differences were mainly within ±20 W m−2 and correlation coefficients close to 1). By considering all the Ci clouds, independently on their COD, the mean SW CCRE values at TOA and SRF were, respectively, −30 ± 26 and − 24 ± 19 W m−2, being the mean atmospheric CCRE of −7 ± 7 W m−2; these values are in good agreement with global annual estimates found for Ci clouds. By using linear regression analysis, a Ci-induced enhancing cooling radiative effect was observed as COD increased for all the spectral ranges, with high correlations. In particular, the SW CCRE at TOA and SRF, and the atmospheric CCRE, presented COD-dependent rates of −74 ± 4, −55 ± 5, −19 ± 2 W m−2τ−1, respectively. Additionally, increasing negative rates are found from UV to NIR for each Ci category, reflecting a higher cooling NIR contribution w.r.t. UV and VIS ranges to the SW CCRE, and being also more pronounced at the TOA w.r.t. on SRF, as expected. The contribution of the SW CCRE to the net (SW + LW) radiative balance can be also potentially relevant. Results are especially significant for space-borne photometric/radiometric instrumentation and can contribute to validation purposes of the next ESA's EarthCARE mission, whose principal scientific goal is focused on radiation-aerosol-cloud interaction research.
  • Gõmez-Elvira, Javier, et al. (författare)
  • Curiosity's rover environmental monitoring station : Overview of the first 100 sols
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets. - 2169-9097 .- 2169-9100. ; 119:7, s. 1680-1688
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • In the first 100 Martian solar days (sols) of the Mars Science Laboratory mission, the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) measured the seasonally evolving diurnal cycles of ultraviolet radiation, atmospheric pressure, air temperature, ground temperature, relative humidity, and wind within Gale Crater on Mars. As an introduction to several REMS-based articles in this issue, we provide an overview of the design and performance of the REMS sensors and discuss our approach to mitigating some of the difficulties we encountered following landing, including the loss of one of the two wind sensors. We discuss the REMS data set in the context of other Mars Science Laboratory instruments and observations and describe how an enhanced observing strategy greatly increased the amount of REMS data returned in the first 100 sols, providing complete coverage of the diurnal cycle every 4 to 6 sols. Finally, we provide a brief overview of key science results from the first 100 sols. We found Gale to be very dry, never reaching saturation relative humidities, subject to larger diurnal surface pressure variations than seen by any previous lander on Mars, air temperatures consistent with model predictions and abundant short timescale variability, and surface temperatures responsive to changes in surface properties and suggestive of subsurface layering. Key Points Introduction to the REMS results on MSL mission Overiview of the sensor information Overview of operational constraints
  • Martin-Torres, Javier, et al. (författare)
  • Transient liquid water and water activity at Gale crater on Mars
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: Nature Geoscience. - 1752-0894 .- 1752-0908. ; 8:5, s. 357-361
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Water is a requirement for life as we know it1. Indirect evidence of transient liquid water has been observed from orbiter on equatorial Mars2, in contrast with expectations from large-scale climate models. The presence of perchlorate salts, which have been detected at Gale crater on equatorial Mars by the Curiosity rover3, 4, lowers the freezing temperature of water5. Moreover, perchlorates can form stable hydrated compounds and liquid solutions by absorbing atmospheric water vapour through deliquescence6, 7. Here we analyse relative humidity, air temperature and ground temperature data from the Curiosity rover at Gale crater and find that the observations support the formation of night-time transient liquid brines in the uppermost 5 cm of the subsurface that then evaporate after sunrise. We also find that changes in the hydration state of salts within the uppermost 15 cm of the subsurface, as measured by Curiosity, are consistent with an active exchange of water at the atmosphere–soil interface. However, the water activity and temperature are probably too low to support terrestrial organisms8. Perchlorates are widespread on the surface of Mars9 and we expect that liquid brines are abundant beyond equatorial regions where atmospheric humidity is higher and temperatures are lower.
  • Moores, John E., et al. (författare)
  • Atmospheric movies acquired at the Mars Science Laboratory landing site : Cloud Morphology, Frequency and Significance to the Gale Crater Water Cycle and Phoenix Mission Results
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: Advances in Space Research. - 0273-1177 .- 1879-1948. ; 55:9, s. 2217-2238
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • We report on the first 360 sols (LS 150° to 5°), representing just over half a Martian year, of atmospheric monitoring movies acquired using the NavCam imager from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover Curiosity. Such movies reveal faint clouds that are difficult to discern in single images. The data set acquired was divided into two different classifications depending upon the orientation and intent of the observation. Up to sol 360, 73 Zenith Movies and 79 Supra-Horizon Movies have been acquired and time-variable features could be discerned in 25 of each. The data set from MSL is compared to similar observations made by the Surface Stereo Imager (SSI) onboard the Phoenix Lander and suggests a much drier environment at Gale Crater (4.6°S) during this season than was observed in Green Valley (68.2°N) as would be expected based on latitude and the global water cycle. The optical depth of the variable component of clouds seen in images with features are up to 0.047 ± 0.009 with a granularity to the features observed which averages 3.8 degrees. MCS also observes clouds during the same period of comparable optical depth at 30 and 50 km that would suggest a cloud spacing of 2.0 to 3.3 km. Multiple motions visible in atmospheric movies support the presence of two distinct layers of clouds. At Gale Crater, these clouds are likely caused by atmospheric waves given the regular spacing of features observed in many Zenith movies and decreased spacing towards the horizon in sunset movies consistent with clouds forming at a constant elevation. Reanalysis of Phoenix data in the light of the NavCam equatorial dataset suggests that clouds may have been more frequent in the earlier portion of the Phoenix mission than was previously thought.
  • Moores, John E., et al. (författare)
  • Observational evidence of a suppressed planetary boundary layer in northern Gale Crater, Mars as seen by the Navcam instrument onboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: Icarus (New York, N.Y. 1962). - 0019-1035 .- 1090-2643. ; 249, s. 129-142
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The Navigation Cameras (Navcam) of the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, have been used to examine two aspects of the planetary boundary layer: vertical dust distribution and dust devil frequency. The vertical distribution of dust may be obtained by using observations of the distant crater rim to derive a line-of-sight optical depth within Gale Crater and comparing this optical depth to column optical depths obtained using Mastcam observations of the solar disc. The line of sight method consistently produces lower extinctions within the crater compared to the bulk atmosphere. This suggests a relatively stable atmosphere in which dust may settle out leaving the air within the crater clearer than air above and explains the correlation in observed column opacity between the floor of Gale Crater and the higher elevation Meridiani Planum. In the case of dust devils, despite an extensive campaign only one optically thick vortex (τ=1.5±0.5×10-3) was observed compared to 149 pressure events > 0.5Pa observed in REMS pressure data. Correcting for temporal coverage by REMS and geographic coverage by Navcam still suggests 104 vortices should have been viewable, suggesting that most vortices are dustless. Additionally, the most intense pressure excursions observed on other landing sites (pressure drop >2.5Pa) are lacking from the observations by the REMS instrument. Taken together, these observations are consistent with pre-landing circulation modeling of the crater showing a suppressed, shallow boundary layer. They are further consistent with geological observations of dust that suggests the northern portion of the crater is a sink for dust in the current era.
  • Pandey, Siddharth, et al. (författare)
  • Ladakh : diverse, high-altitude extreme environments for off-earth analogue and astrobiology research
  • 2020
  • Ingår i: International Journal of Astrobiology. - : Cambridge University Press. - 1473-5504 .- 1475-3006. ; 19:1, s. 78-98
  • Forskningsöversikt (refereegranskat)abstract
    • This paper highlights unique sites in Ladakh, India, investigated during our 2016 multidisciplinary pathfinding expedition to the region. We summarize our scientific findings and the site's potential to support science exploration, testing of new technologies and science protocols within the framework of astrobiology research. Ladakh has several accessible, diverse, pristine and extreme environments at very high altitudes (3000–5700 m above sea level). These sites include glacial passes, sand dunes, hot springs and saline lake shorelines with periglacial features. We report geological observations and environmental characteristics (of astrobiological significance) along with the development of regolith-landform maps for cold high passes. The effects of the diurnal water cycle on salt deliquescence were studied using the ExoMars Mission instrument mockup: HabitAbility: Brines, Irradiance and Temperature (HABIT). It recorded the existence of an interaction between the diurnal water cycle in the atmosphere and salts in the soil (which can serve as habitable liquid water reservoirs). Life detection assays were also tested to establish the best protocols for biomass measurements in brines, periglacial ice-mud and permafrost melt water environments in the Tso-Kar region. This campaign helped confirm the relevance of clays and brines as interest targets of research on Mars for biomarker preservation and life detection.
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