skip to main content

SciTech ConnectSciTech Connect

Title: Characterization of 3D Cirrus Cloud and Radiation Fields Using ARS/AIRS/MODIS data and its Application to Climate Model

During the report period, we have made the following research accomplishments. First, we performed analysis for a number of MODIS scenes comprising of heavy dust events and ice clouds, covering regions of frequent dust outbreaks in East Asia, Middle East, and West Africa, as well as areas associated with long-range dust transports over the Equatorial Tropical Atlantic Ocean. These scenes contain both dust/aerosols and clouds. We collected suitable aerosol/ice-cloud data, correlated ice cloud and aerosol parameters by means of statistical analysis, and interpreted resulting correlation trends based on the physical principles governing cloud microphysics. Aerosol and cloud optical depths and cloud effective particle size inferred from MODIS for selected domains were analyzed from which the parameters including dust aerosol number concentration, ice cloud water path, and ice particle number concentration were subsequently derived. We illustrated that the Twomey (solar albedo) effect can be statistically quantified based on the slope of best-fit straight lines in the correlation study. Analysis of aerosol and cloud retrieval products revealed that for all cases, the region with a larger dust aerosol optical depth is always characterized by a smaller cloud particle size, consistent with the Twomey hypothesis for aerosol-cloud interactions. Second, we developed mean correlationmore » curves with uncertainties associated with small ice-crystal concentration observations for the mean effective ice crystal size (De) and ice water content (IWC) by dividing the atmosphere into three characteristic regions: Tropics cirrus, Midlatitude cirrus, including a temperature classification to improve correlation, and Arctic ice clouds. We illustrated that De has a high correlation with IWC based on theoretical consideration and analysis of thousands of observed ice crystal data obtained from a number of ARM-DOE field campaigns and other experiments. The correlation has the form: ln(De) = a + b ln(IWC) + c ((ln(IWC))2, where a, b, and c are fitting coefficients and are functions of three regions. We demonstrated that this correlation can be effectively incorporated in GCMs and climate models that predict IWC - a significant advance in ice microphysics parameterization for interactive cloud-radiation analysis and feedback. Substantial July mean differences are shown in the OLR (W/m2) and precipitation (mm/day) patterns between UCLA GCM simulations based on Des determined from the De-IWC correlations and the control run using a fixed ice crystal size. Third, in order to improve the computation of spectral radiative transfer processes in the WRF model, we developed a consistent and efficient radiation scheme that can better resolve the spectral bands, determine the cloud optical properties, and provide more reliable and accurate radiative heating fields. In the newly developed radiation module, we have implemented in WRF a modified and improved version referred to as the Fu-Liou-Gu scheme, which includes a combination of delta-four-stream and delta-two-stream approximations for solar and IR flux calculations, respectively. This combination has been proven to be computationally efficient and at the same time to produce a high degree of accuracy. The incorporation of nongray gaseous absorption in multiple scattering atmospheres was based on the correlated k-distribution method. The solar and IR spectra are divided into 6 and 12 bands, respectively, according to the location of absorption bands of H2O, CO2, O3, CH4, N2O, and CFCs. We further included absorption by the water vapor continuum and a number of minor absorbers in the solar spectrum leading to an additional absorption of solar flux in a clear atmosphere on the order of 1-3 W/m2. Additionally, we incorporated the ice microphysics parameterization that includes an interactive mean effective ice crystal size in association with radiation parameterizations. The Fu-Liou-Gu scheme is an ideal tool for the simulation of radiative transfer and ice microphysics within the domain of WRF. It is particularly useful for studying direct and indirect aerosol radiative effects associated with ice cloud formation. The newly implemented radiation module has been demonstrated to work well in WRF and can be effectively used for studies related to cirrus cloud formation and evolution as well as aerosol-cloud-radiation interactions. With the newly implemented radiation scheme, the simulations of cloud cover and ice water path have been improved for cirrus clouds, with a more consistent comparison with the corresponding MODIS observations, especially for optically thin cirrus with an improvement of about 20% in the simulated mean ice water path.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
University of California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States