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Manuscript Submission Deadline 14 January 2023

Uncertainties related to processes that govern the microphysics and composition of aerosol and clouds are at the heart of our inability to sufficiently constrain cloud climate feedback and aerosol-radiation-cloud interactions, which remain the largest sources of uncertainties in climate projections. Improving the information content of aerosol and cloud remote sensing observations with respect to microphysics and composition is key to further enhancing our knowledge of fundamental cloud and aerosol processes, such as chemical evolution, wet and dry aerosol deposition, primary and secondary aerosol activation, and ice formation, warm and cold precipitation formation, and phase transitions. While great advances have been made in the past decades in retrieving, e.g., aerosol and cloud optical depth and cloud top sizes, remote sensing of fundamental particle properties such as size distributions, thermodynamic phase, shape, and chemical composition, as well as the vertical variation of such properties, remains challenging. These variables largely influence optical and physical properties, such as scattering and absorption efficiencies, sedimentation rates, hygroscopicity, and the efficiency of aerosols to act as ice nucleating particles or cloud condensation nuclei. Further complicating aerosol and cloud retrievals and their interpretation are the relatively small scales on which they can vary, 3-dimensional radiative transfer effects, and spatiotemporal sampling biases. Improving our aerosol and cloud remote sensing capabilities is an important driver behind upcoming satellite missions such as PACE, AOS, METOP-SG, and EarthCARE, as well as new micro- or CubeSats.

The goal of this Research Topic is to cover remote sensing theory and applications that advance the observations of the microphysics and composition of aerosol and clouds by addressing the challenges discussed above, in addition to others. The research topic will form a collection of studies that will provide guidance to advance aerosol, cloud, and climate science through the development of new retrieval approaches, new tools, and new instruments and mission concepts.

Both theoretical studies for (potential) future missions and novel applications to real satellite or airborne data are welcomed. Specifically, contributions that make use of hyper/multi-spectral, multi-angle, polarimetric, active, or passive observations and combinations thereof are encouraged.

Keywords: Clouds, Aerosols, Microphysics, Remote Sensing, Climate


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Uncertainties related to processes that govern the microphysics and composition of aerosol and clouds are at the heart of our inability to sufficiently constrain cloud climate feedback and aerosol-radiation-cloud interactions, which remain the largest sources of uncertainties in climate projections. Improving the information content of aerosol and cloud remote sensing observations with respect to microphysics and composition is key to further enhancing our knowledge of fundamental cloud and aerosol processes, such as chemical evolution, wet and dry aerosol deposition, primary and secondary aerosol activation, and ice formation, warm and cold precipitation formation, and phase transitions. While great advances have been made in the past decades in retrieving, e.g., aerosol and cloud optical depth and cloud top sizes, remote sensing of fundamental particle properties such as size distributions, thermodynamic phase, shape, and chemical composition, as well as the vertical variation of such properties, remains challenging. These variables largely influence optical and physical properties, such as scattering and absorption efficiencies, sedimentation rates, hygroscopicity, and the efficiency of aerosols to act as ice nucleating particles or cloud condensation nuclei. Further complicating aerosol and cloud retrievals and their interpretation are the relatively small scales on which they can vary, 3-dimensional radiative transfer effects, and spatiotemporal sampling biases. Improving our aerosol and cloud remote sensing capabilities is an important driver behind upcoming satellite missions such as PACE, AOS, METOP-SG, and EarthCARE, as well as new micro- or CubeSats.

The goal of this Research Topic is to cover remote sensing theory and applications that advance the observations of the microphysics and composition of aerosol and clouds by addressing the challenges discussed above, in addition to others. The research topic will form a collection of studies that will provide guidance to advance aerosol, cloud, and climate science through the development of new retrieval approaches, new tools, and new instruments and mission concepts.

Both theoretical studies for (potential) future missions and novel applications to real satellite or airborne data are welcomed. Specifically, contributions that make use of hyper/multi-spectral, multi-angle, polarimetric, active, or passive observations and combinations thereof are encouraged.

Keywords: Clouds, Aerosols, Microphysics, Remote Sensing, Climate


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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