The radiative impact of water ice clouds from a reanalysis of Mars Climate Sounder data

Steele, L. J.; Lewis, S. R. and Patel, M. R. (2014). The radiative impact of water ice clouds from a reanalysis of Mars Climate Sounder data. Geophysical Research Letters, 41(13) pp. 4471–4478.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/2014GL060235

Abstract

The radiative impact of water ice clouds on the atmosphere of Mars is analyzed via a reanalysis of Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) temperature and ice opacity profiles. Polar hood clouds only have a small radiative impact, while tropical clouds increase diurnally averaged temperatures at the 10 Pa level by ∼10–15 K. Cloud radiative heating strengthens the meridional overturning circulation, increasing temperatures in the polar warmings by ∼6–8 K and temperatures in the tropics by ∼2 K (due to increased dust mass). The positions and wind speeds of the tropical and high-latitude jets are also modified through changes to the meridional temperature gradients. An effective ice particle radius of reff=1.4μm produces temperatures around the aphelion cloud belt in close agreement to MCS temperature retrievals. For high-altitude tropical clouds during northern autumn, a better agreement is found using reff=0.8μm.

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