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Cloud optical properties are determined not only by the number density nd and mean radiusof cloud droplets but also by the shape of the droplet size distribution. The change in cloud optical depth with changing nd, due to the change in distribution shape, is known as the dispersion effect. Droplet relative dispersion is defined as d=σr / ṝ . For the first time, a commonly used effective radius parameterization is tested in a controlled laboratory environment by creating a turbulent cloud. Stochastic condensation growth suggests d independent of nd for a nonprecipitating cloud, hence nearly zero albedo susceptibility due to the dispersion effect. However, for size‐dependent removal, such as in a laboratory cloud or highly clean atmospheric conditions, stochastic condensation produces a weak dispersion effect. The albedo susceptibility due to turbulence broadening has the same sign as the Twomey effect and augments it by order 10%.

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Geophysical Research Letters

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Available for download on Friday, March 29, 2019