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Title: Process-model Simulations of Cloud Albedo Enhancement by Aerosols in the Arctic

A cloud-resolving model is used to simulate the effectiveness of Arctic marine cloud brightening via injection of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). An updated cloud microphysical scheme is employed, with prognostic CCN and cloud particle numbers in both liquid and mixed-phase marine low clouds. Injection of CCN into the marine boundary layer can delay the collapse of the boundary layer and increase low-cloud albedo. Because nearly all of the albedo effects are in the liquid phase due to the removal of ice water by snowfall when ice processes are involved, albedo increases are stronger for pure liquid clouds than mixed-phase clouds. Liquid precipitation can be suppressed by CCN injection, whereas ice precipitation (snow) is affected less; thus the effectiveness of brightening mixed-phase clouds is lower than for liquid-only clouds. CCN injection into a clean regime results in a greater albedo increase than injection into a polluted regime, consistent with current knowledge about aerosol-cloud interactions. Unlike previous studies investigating warm clouds, dynamical changes in circulation due to precipitation changes are small.
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Philosophical Transactions. Mathematical, Physical & Engineering Sciences, 372(2031):Article No. 20140052
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
process-model simulations; cloud albedo enhancement; aerosols; Arctic