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ORACLES Model Derived Measurements

ORACLES_Model_Data consists of model-derived estimates for aerosol time since emissions (days), calculated with the Weather Research and Aerosol Aware Microphysics (WRF-AAM) Model collected for the ObseRvations of Aerosols above CLouds and their intEractions sub-orbital (ORACLES) campaign. Data collection is complete, and data is available for all three deployments (August 19, 2016 – October 27, 2016; August 1, 2017 – September 4, 2017; September 21, 2018 – October 27, 2018). Southern Africa produces almost one-third of the Earth’s biomass burning aerosol particles. The ORACLES (ObseRvations of Aerosols above CLouds and their intEractionS) experiment was a five year investigation with three intensive observation periods (August 19, 2016 – October 27, 2016; August 1, 2017 – September 4, 2017; September 21, 2018 – October 27, 2018) and was designed to study key processes that determine the climate impacts of African biomass burning aerosols. ORACLES provided multi-year airborne observations over the complete vertical column of the key parameters that drive aerosol-cloud interactions in the southeast Atlantic, an area with some of the largest inter-model differences in aerosol forcing assessments. These inter-model differences in aerosol and cloud distributions, as well as their combined climatic effects in the SE Atlantic are partly due to the persistence of aerosols above clouds. The varying separation of cloud and aerosol layers sampled during ORACLES allow for a process-oriented understanding of how variations in radiative heating profiles impact cloud properties, which is expected to improve model simulations for other remote regions experience long-range aerosol transport above clouds. ORACLES uses two NASA aircraft, the P-3 and ER-2. The P-3 was used as a low-flying platform for simultaneous in situ and remote sensing measurements of aerosols and clouds in all three campaigns, supplemented by ER-2 remote sensing in 2016. ER-2 observations will be used to enhance satellite-based remote sensing by resolving variability within a particular scene, and by guiding the development of new and improved remote sensing techniques.

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