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Title: Collaborative Research: Quantifying the Uncertainties of Aerosol Indirect Effects and Impacts on Decadal-Scale Climate Variability in NCAR CAM5 and CESM1

Abstract

The goal of this proposed project is to assess the climatic importance and sensitivity of aerosol indirect effect (AIE) to cloud and aerosol processes and feedbacks, which include organic aerosol hygroscopicity, cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activation kinetics, Giant CCN, cloud-scale entrainment, ice nucleation in mixed-phase and cirrus clouds, and treatment of subgrid variability of vertical velocity. A key objective was to link aerosol, cloud microphysics and dynamics feedbacks in CAM5 with a suite of internally consistent and integrated parameterizations that provide the appropriate degrees of freedom to capture the various aspects of the aerosol indirect effect. The proposal integrated new parameterization elements into the cloud microphysics, moist turbulence and aerosol modules used by the NCAR Community Atmospheric Model version 5 (CAM5). The CAM5 model was then used to systematically quantify the uncertainties of aerosol indirect effects through a series of sensitivity tests with present-day and preindustrial aerosol emissions. New parameterization elements were developed as a result of these efforts, and new diagnostic tools & methodologies were also developed to quantify the impacts of aerosols on clouds and climate within fully coupled models. Observations were used to constrain key uncertainties in the aerosol-cloud links. Advanced sensitivity tools were developed and implementsmore » to probe the drivers of cloud microphysical variability with unprecedented temporal and spatial scale. All these results have been published in top and high impact journals (or are in the final stages of publication). This proposal has also supported a number of outstanding graduate students.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Georgia Inst. of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Georgia Tech Research Corporation, Atlanta, GA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1365568
Report Number(s):
DOE-GIT-07145-1
DOE Contract Number:
SC0007145
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; AEROSOLS; CLOUDS; PARAMETERIZATION; CLIMATE; GLOBAL SIMULATIONS

Citation Formats

Nenes, Athanasios. Collaborative Research: Quantifying the Uncertainties of Aerosol Indirect Effects and Impacts on Decadal-Scale Climate Variability in NCAR CAM5 and CESM1. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1365568.
Nenes, Athanasios. Collaborative Research: Quantifying the Uncertainties of Aerosol Indirect Effects and Impacts on Decadal-Scale Climate Variability in NCAR CAM5 and CESM1. United States. doi:10.2172/1365568.
Nenes, Athanasios. Fri . "Collaborative Research: Quantifying the Uncertainties of Aerosol Indirect Effects and Impacts on Decadal-Scale Climate Variability in NCAR CAM5 and CESM1". United States. doi:10.2172/1365568. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1365568.
@article{osti_1365568,
title = {Collaborative Research: Quantifying the Uncertainties of Aerosol Indirect Effects and Impacts on Decadal-Scale Climate Variability in NCAR CAM5 and CESM1},
author = {Nenes, Athanasios},
abstractNote = {The goal of this proposed project is to assess the climatic importance and sensitivity of aerosol indirect effect (AIE) to cloud and aerosol processes and feedbacks, which include organic aerosol hygroscopicity, cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activation kinetics, Giant CCN, cloud-scale entrainment, ice nucleation in mixed-phase and cirrus clouds, and treatment of subgrid variability of vertical velocity. A key objective was to link aerosol, cloud microphysics and dynamics feedbacks in CAM5 with a suite of internally consistent and integrated parameterizations that provide the appropriate degrees of freedom to capture the various aspects of the aerosol indirect effect. The proposal integrated new parameterization elements into the cloud microphysics, moist turbulence and aerosol modules used by the NCAR Community Atmospheric Model version 5 (CAM5). The CAM5 model was then used to systematically quantify the uncertainties of aerosol indirect effects through a series of sensitivity tests with present-day and preindustrial aerosol emissions. New parameterization elements were developed as a result of these efforts, and new diagnostic tools & methodologies were also developed to quantify the impacts of aerosols on clouds and climate within fully coupled models. Observations were used to constrain key uncertainties in the aerosol-cloud links. Advanced sensitivity tools were developed and implements to probe the drivers of cloud microphysical variability with unprecedented temporal and spatial scale. All these results have been published in top and high impact journals (or are in the final stages of publication). This proposal has also supported a number of outstanding graduate students.},
doi = {10.2172/1365568},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Jun 23 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Fri Jun 23 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Technical Report:

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  • The main goal of this project is to systematically quantify the major uncertainties of aerosol indirect effects due to the treatment of moist turbulent processes that drive aerosol activation, cloud macrophysics and microphysics in response to anthropogenic aerosol perturbations using the CAM5/CESM1. To achieve this goal, the P.I. hired a postdoctoral research scientist (Dr. Anna Fitch) who started her work from the Nov.1st.2012. In order to achieve the project goal, the first task that the Postdoc. and the P.I. did was to quantify the role of subgrid vertical velocity variance on the activation and nucleation of cloud liquid droplets andmore » ice crystals and its impact on the aerosol indirect effect in CAM5. First, we analyzed various LES cases (from dry stable to cloud-topped PBL) to check whether this isotropic turbulence assumption used in CAM5 is really valid. It turned out that this isotropic turbulence assumption is not universally valid. Consequently, from the analysis of LES, we derived an empirical formulation relaxing the isotropic turbulence assumption used for the CAM5 aerosol activation and ice nucleation, and implemented the empirical formulation into CAM5/CESM1, and tested in the single-column and global simulation modes, and examined how it changed aerosol indirect effects in the CAM5/CESM1. These results were reported in the poster section in the 18th Annual CESM workshop held in Breckenridge, CO during Jun.17-20.2013. While we derived an empirical formulation from the analysis of couple of LES from the first task, the general applicability of that empirical formulation was questionable, because it was obtained from the limited number of LES simulations. The second task we did was to derive a more fundamental analytical formulation relating vertical velocity variance to TKE using other information starting from basic physical principles. This was a somewhat challenging subject, but if this could be done in a successful way, it could be directly implemented into the CAM5 as a practical parameterization, and substantially contributes to achieving the project goal. Through an intensive research for about one year, we found appropriate mathematical formulation and tried to implement it into the CAM5 PBL and activation routine as a practical parameterized numerical code. During these processes, however, the Postdoc applied for another position in Sweden, Europe, and accepted a job offer there, and left NCAR in August 2014. In Sweden, Dr. Anna Fitch is still working on this subject in a part time, planning to finalize the research and to write the paper in a near future.« less
  • Originally, the main role of the P.I. (Sungsu Park) in this project was to improve the treatment of cloud microphysics in the CAM5 shallow and deep convection scheme. During the progress of the project, however, the main research theme was changed to develop a new unified convection scheme (so called, UNICON) with the permission of the program manager.
  • This project developed and applied a regional Arctic System model for enhanced decadal predictions. It built on successful research by four of the current PIs with support from the DOE Climate Change Prediction Program, which has resulted in the development of a fully coupled Regional Arctic Climate Model (RACM) consisting of atmosphere, land-hydrology, ocean and sea ice components. An expanded RACM, a Regional Arctic System Model (RASM), has been set up to include ice sheets, ice caps, mountain glaciers, and dynamic vegetation to allow investigation of coupled physical processes responsible for decadal-scale climate change and variability in the Arctic. RASMmore » can have high spatial resolution (~4-20 times higher than currently practical in global models) to advance modeling of critical processes and determine the need for their explicit representation in Global Earth System Models (GESMs). The pan-Arctic region is a key indicator of the state of global climate through polar amplification. However, a system-level understanding of critical arctic processes and feedbacks needs further development. Rapid climate change has occurred in a number of Arctic System components during the past few decades, including retreat of the perennial sea ice cover, increased surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet, acceleration and thinning of outlet glaciers, reduced snow cover, thawing permafrost, and shifts in vegetation. Such changes could have significant ramifications for global sea level, the ocean thermohaline circulation and heat budget, ecosystems, native communities, natural resource exploration, and commercial transportation. The overarching goal of the RASM project has been to advance understanding of past and present states of arctic climate and to improve seasonal to decadal predictions. To do this the project has focused on variability and long-term change of energy and freshwater flows through the arctic climate system. The three foci of this research are: - Changes in the freshwater flux between arctic climate system components resulting from decadal changes in land and sea ice, seasonal snow, vegetation, and ocean circulation. - Changing energetics due to decadal changes in ice mass, vegetation, and air-sea interactions. - The role of small-scale atmospheric and oceanic processes that influence decadal variability. This research has been addressing modes of natural climate variability as well as extreme and rapid climate change. RASM can facilitate studies of climate impacts (e.g., droughts and fires) and of ecosystem adaptations to these impacts.« less
  • This project funded two efforts at understanding the interactions between Central Pacific ENSO events, the mid-latitude atmosphere, and decadal variability in the Pacific. The first was an investigation of conditions that lead to Central Pacific (CP) and East Pacific (EP) ENSO events through the use of linear inverse modeling with defined norms. The second effort was a modeling study that combined output from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Community Atmospheric Model (CAM4) with the Battisti (1988) intermediate coupled model. The intent of the second activity was to investigate the relationship between the atmospheric North Pacific Oscillation (NPO), themore » Pacific Meridional Mode (PMM), and ENSO. These two activities are described herein.« less
  • The primary outcome of the project was the development of the Regional Arctic System Model (RASM) and evaluation of its individual model components, coupling among them and fully coupled model results. Overall, we have demonstrated that RASM produces realistic mean and seasonal surface climate as well as its interannual and decadal variability and trends.