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The Role of Mesoscale Cloud Morphology in the Shortwave Cloud Feedback
  • +2
  • Isabel Louise McCoy,
  • Daniel Thompson McCoy,
  • Robert Wood,
  • Paquita Zuidema,
  • Frida A.-M. Bender
Isabel Louise McCoy
University of Miami, University of Miami

Corresponding Author:imccoy@ucar.edu

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Daniel Thompson McCoy
University of Wyoming, University of Wyoming
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Robert Wood
University of Washington, University of Washington
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Paquita Zuidema
University of Miami, University of Miami
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Frida A.-M. Bender
Stockholm University, Stockholm University
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A supervised neural network algorithm is used to categorize near-global satellite retrievals into three mesoscale cellular convective (MCC) cloud morphology patterns. At constant cloud amount, morphology patterns differ in brightness associated with the amount of optically-thin cloud features present. Environmentally-driven transitions from closed MCC to other morphology patterns, typically accompanied by a shift to more optically-thin cloud features, are used as a framework to quantify the morphology contribution to shortwave cloud feedback. Shifts in closed MCC occurrence associated with a marine heat wave were predicted as an out-of-sample test. Morphology shifts in optical-depth under projected environmental changes assuming constant cloud cover contributes between 0.05-0.09 W/m2/K (aggregate of 0.07) to the global mean cloud feedback.