The Barbados Cloud Observatory: Anchoring Investigations of Clouds and Circulation on the Edge of the ITCZ

Stevens, Bjorn ; Farrell, David ; Hirsch, Lutz ; Jansen, Friedhelm ; Nuijens, Louise ; Serikov, Ilya ; Brügmann, Björn ; Forde, Marvin ; Linne, Holger ; Lonitz, Katrin ; Prospero, Joseph M.

Année de publication
Clouds over the ocean, particularly throughout the tropics, are poorly understood and drive much of the uncertainty in model-based projections of climate change. In early 2010, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology and the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology established the Barbados Cloud Observatory (BCO) on the windward edge of Barbados. At 13°N the BCO samples the seasonal migration of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), from the well-developed winter trades dominated by shallow cumulus to the transition to deep convection as the ITCZ migrates northward during boreal summer. The BCO is also well situated to observe the remote meteorological impact of Saharan dust and biomass burning. In its first six years of operation, and through complementary intensive observing periods using the German High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft (HALO), the BCO has become a cornerstone of efforts to understand the relationship between cloudiness, circulation, and climate change.

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