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Project details

Title: CAPRICORN: Clouds, Aerosols, Precipitation, Radiation, and Atmospheric Composition over the Southern Ocean
Id: 2441
Acronym: CAPRICORN Project
Investigator(s): Alain Protat
Bureau of Meteorology [details]

Description: CAPRICORN Project. Scientific Objectives: Cloud-aerosol-precipitation processes over the Southern Ocean (SO) are one of the largest sources of uncertainties in future climate projections. The CAPRICORN proposal aims to advance our knowledge of the SO cloud systems, aerosol properties, surface energy budget, upper ocean biological aerosol production, and atmospheric composition, in order to improve the characterization of their physical properties from satellite platforms and global models. The cloud morphological, microphysical and thermodynamical properties and boundary layer structure are very poorly observed over the SO. Climate and numerical weather prediction models also poorly represent the cloud and precipitation fields over the Southern Ocean and, as a consequence, appear to poorly predict the energy balance. The objectives of this proposal are to (i) characterize the cloud, aerosol, and precipitation properties, boundary layer structure, biological production and cycling of dimethyl sulfide (DMS) in the upper ocean, atmospheric composition, and surface energy budget, as well as their latitudinal variability; (ii) evaluate and improve satellite estimations of these properties, and (iii) evaluate and improve the representation of these properties in the Australian ACCESS regional and global model.
Years: 2016


Conference abstract


Journal Article


Use [details] link to view survey details (map, reports, metadata etc) including links to download data.

List of surveys that this project was on. Click on column header to sort.

Use [details] link to view survey details (map, reports, metadata etc) including links to download data.

Survey InvestigatorDescription

Steve Rintoul (CSIRO O&A) Detecting Southern Ocean change from repeat hydrography, deep Argo and trace element biogeochemistry (Chief Scientist: Dr Steve Rintoul, CSIRO) The Southern Ocean has a profound influence on regional and global climate, sea level rise, and biological productivity. The project aims to discover how and why the Southern Ocean is changing, and to identify the consequences of those changes for climate, sea level and marine life. The research will help deliver more reliable projections of future climate, from models that more faithfully represent critical Southern Ocean processes; such information is urgently needed to allow Australia to foresee and manage the risks and opportunities associated with climate change. CAPRICORN: clouds, aerosols, precipitation, radiation and atmospheric composition over the Southern Ocean (Lead Principal Investigator: Dr Alain Protat, BOM) Clouds over the Southern Ocean are one of the largest uncertainties in the prediction of the future climate of the Southern Hemisphere. This study will bridge an observational gap in this data-sparse, unique region of the World assisting in understanding why climate models poorly simulate the energy balance over the Southern Ocean and improving skill of weather forecast models to simulate frontal cloud systems. This will be achieved by analysing cloud, aerosol, and precipitation observations of frontal cloud systems and associated processes using dedicated radar, lidar, and radiosounding observations from the RV Investigator and satellite platforms.

Tom Trull (CSIRO, ACE-CRC) RV Investigator research voyage in2016_v02. Titled SOTS: Southern Ocean Time Series automated moorings for climate and carbon cycle studies southwest of Tasmania. This voyage combines work from three projects. SOTS, CAPRICORN and Eddy Voyage objectives: SOTS The primary objective is to first deploy a reduced set (SAZ and FluxPulse) and then recover a full set of SOTS moorings (SOFS, Pulse, and SAZ). Additional work will obtain ancillary information on the atmospheric and oceanographic conditions using CTD casts, underway measurements, the Triaxus towed body, and autonomous profiling "Bio-Argo" floats. Each of the SOTS moorings delivers to specific aspects of the atmosphere-ocean exchanges, with some redundancy: * the SAZ sediment trap mooring focuses on quantifying the transfer of carbon and other nutrients to the ocean interior by sinking particles, and collecting samples to investigate their ecological controls * the Southern Ocean Flux Station (SOFS) focuses on air properties, ocean stratification, waves, and currents. * the Pulse biogeochemistry mooring focuses on processes important to biological CO2 consumption, including net community production from oxygen measurements and nitrate depletion, biomass concentrations from bio-optics and bio-acoustics, and collection of water samples for nutrient and plankton quantification. * the FluxPulse mooring combines some elements of Pulse onto the SOFS platform to create a combined mooring, which will be deployed for the first time in 2016. This combination meets financial constraints while still measuring almost all planned parameters CAPRICORN * The primary objective is to collect cloud, aerosol, precipitation, radiation and atmospheric composition measurements over the Southern Ocean over 30 days, and to capture the latitudinal variability of these properties from the latitude of Hobart down to 55-60S if time allows. The Investigator will be equipped with a state-of the art suite of instruments for that purpose (see list in voyage plan). * In order to address the "satellite validation" objectives, we need to locate the research vessel under the track of the CloudSat-CALIPSO instrument and within the larger swath of the NASA GPM and A-Train radars and radiometers. This will be achieved in coordination with the requirement to sample a mesoscale oceanic eddy using a dedicated pattern that will include satellite track following and mesoscale eddy sampling using radial transects, after the SOTS moorings are deployed and recovered. * In order to address the "ACCESS model validation" objectives, we need to sample the sub-grid scale variability of the atmospheric properties, therefore we will undertake some periods of intensive sampling of 12*12 km2 grids with small-scale lawnmower patterns, ensuring that the aerosol measurements are not perturbed by the ship exhaust. The timing and location of these grids will be determined during the voyage. Eddy * Deploy a suite of floats, two different models per eddy, to obtain profiles of temperature, salinity, velocity, oxygen, nitrate, pH and bio-optics near the eddy centre while we perform spatial surveys. * Measure the velocities and mixing in the two eddies. * Quantify the elemental fluxes associated with the eddy circulation, including nutrient transport and air-sea CO2 flux. * Measure the biological response to the circulation and nutrient transport, including primary productivity, trace metal biogeochemistry, new production and the respiration of downward carbon flux (using free-drifting sediment traps). Our combined ship-satellite-float observations will provide the most comprehensive view thus far of Southern Ocean eddies. Our work also contributes to emerging international programs in the Southern Ocean that are combining expanded autonomous observations with large scale modelling efforts. Full details are in the in2016_v02 voyage plan.
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