Aerosol loading and land cover changes may have important implications for the development of clouds and the Amazonian and global hydrological cycle. The impact of these changes on climate is still poorly understood and theme of much debate in the scientific community. This research project aims to advance knowledge of the effects of deforestation and urbanization on the radiative balance over the Amazonia, and is part of the Thematic Project FAPESP 2013/02888-9. Several aspects of the radiative forcing will be studied, such as the impact of surface albedo change, aerosols and their role in modifying the radiative properties of clouds, including changes in cloud albedo and cloud cover in the Amazonia.Vertical profiles of aerosols and clouds will be retrieved by two Lidars located upwind and downwind of urban pollution plume of Manaus. These profiles will be used in a radiative transfer code to calculate the direct radiative forcing of aerosols over these areas. MODIS's retrievals of the spatial distribution of aerosol optical depth and CALIPSO's retrievals of vertical atmospheric profiles will be used to expand the assessment of direct radiative forcing for the whole Amazon region.The radiative forcing due to land cover change, caused by deforestation Amazon, will be calculated using MODIS bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF). The seasonal variation of this forcing will be evaluated in order to obtain an accurate estimate of the impact of the surface albedo change in the energy balance of the region.The impact of changes in the aerosol loading in cloud microphysics will be investigated using an advanced set of tools available downwind Manaus during the experiment GoAmazon 2014-2015. Microwave and narrow field of view radiometers will be used to estimate the liquid water path, optical depth and effective radius of cloud droplets. The updraft velocity will be assessed by a Doppler Lidar. The impact of aerosols on cloud cover will be analyzed using a sky imager. The aerosol loading will be estimated from the analysis of the vertical profiles obtained by Lidar.To help us with the development of this work, we also requested one-year scholarship "FAPESP- Bolsa Estágio em Pesquisa no Exterior (BEPE)", to collaborate with the researcher Graham Feingold at the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) Earth System Research Laboratory. The measurements taken during the experiment GoAmazon are an excellent opportunity to advance the understanding of the interactions between surface-aerosol-clouds in the tropics and study their impact on climate.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: