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Title: Study of Mechanisms of Aerosol Indirect Effects on Glaciated Clouds: Progress during the Project Final Technical Report

This 3-year project has studied how aerosol pollution influences glaciated clouds. The tool applied has been an 'aerosol-cloud model'. It is a type of Cloud-System Resolving Model (CSRM) modified to include 2-moment bulk microphysics and 7 aerosol species, as described by Phillips et al. (2009, 2013). The study has been done by, first, improving the model and then performing sensitivity studies with validated simulations of a couple of observed cases from ARM. These are namely the Tropical Warm Pool International Cloud Experiment (TWP-ICE) over the tropical west Pacific and the Cloud and Land Surface Interaction Campaign (CLASIC) over Oklahoma. During the project, sensitivity tests with the model showed that in continental clouds, extra liquid aerosols (soluble aerosol material) from pollution inhibited warm rain processes for precipitation production. This promoted homogeneous freezing of cloud droplets and aerosols. Mass and number concentrations of cloud-ice particles were boosted. The mean sizes of cloud-ice particles were reduced by the pollution. Hence, the lifetime of glaciated clouds, especially ice-only clouds, was augmented due to inhibition of sedimentation and ice-ice aggregation. Latent heat released from extra homogeneous freezing invigorated convective updrafts, and raised their maximum cloud-tops, when aerosol pollution was included. In the particular cases simulatedmore » in the project, the aerosol indirect effect of glaciated clouds was twice than of (warm) water clouds. This was because glaciated clouds are higher in the troposphere than water clouds and have the first interaction with incoming solar radiation. Ice-only clouds caused solar cooling by becoming more extensive as a result of aerosol pollution. This 'lifetime indirect effect' of ice-only clouds was due to higher numbers of homogeneously nucleated ice crystals causing a reduction in their mean size, slowing the ice-crystal process of snow production and slowing sedimentation. In addition to the known indirect effects (glaciation, riming and thermodynamic), new indirect effects were discovered and quantified due to responses of sedimentation, aggregation and coalescence in glaciated clouds to changing aerosol conditions. In summary, the change in horizontal extent of the glaciated clouds ('lifetime indirect effects'), especially of ice-only clouds, was seen to be of higher importance in regulating aerosol indirect effects than changes in cloud properties ('cloud albedo indirect effects').« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DE-SC0002383 (prior award for same project while I was in USA before 2011)
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Leeds University, Leeds, United Kingdom
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE SC Office of Biological and Environmental Research (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States