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Title: Challenges for Cloud Modeling in the Context of Aerosol–Cloud–Precipitation Interactions

Abstract

The International Cloud Modeling Workshop (CMW) has been a longstanding tradition in the cloud microphysics modeling community and is typically held the week prior to the International Conference on Clouds and Precipitation (ICCP). For the Ninth CMW, more than 40 participants from 10 countries convened at the Met Office in Exeter, United Kingdom. The workshop included 4 detailed case studies (described in more detail below) rooted in recent field campaigns. The overarching objective of these cases was to utilize new observations to better understand inter-model differences and model deficiencies, explore new modeling techniques, and gain physical insight into the behavior of clouds. As was the case at the Eighth CMW, there was a general theme of understanding the role of aerosol impacts in the context of cloud-precipitation interactions. However, an additional objective was the focal point of several cases at the most recent workshop: microphysical-dynamical interactions. Many of the cases focused less on idealized small-domain simulations (as was the general focus of previous workshops) and more on large-scale nested configurations examining effects at various scales.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [2];  [5];  [6];  [5];  [7];  [8]
  1. Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming
  2. Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom
  3. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington
  4. Faculty of Science, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary
  5. School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
  6. Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
  7. Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
  8. Research Applications Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1393743
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-124469
Journal ID: ISSN 0003-0007; KP1701000
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society; Journal Volume: 98; Journal Issue: 8
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Lebo, Zachary J., Shipway, Ben J., Fan, Jiwen, Geresdi, Istvan, Hill, Adrian, Miltenberger, Annette, Morrison, Hugh, Rosenberg, Phil, Varble, Adam, and Xue, Lulin. Challenges for Cloud Modeling in the Context of Aerosol–Cloud–Precipitation Interactions. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0291.1.
Lebo, Zachary J., Shipway, Ben J., Fan, Jiwen, Geresdi, Istvan, Hill, Adrian, Miltenberger, Annette, Morrison, Hugh, Rosenberg, Phil, Varble, Adam, & Xue, Lulin. Challenges for Cloud Modeling in the Context of Aerosol–Cloud–Precipitation Interactions. United States. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0291.1.
Lebo, Zachary J., Shipway, Ben J., Fan, Jiwen, Geresdi, Istvan, Hill, Adrian, Miltenberger, Annette, Morrison, Hugh, Rosenberg, Phil, Varble, Adam, and Xue, Lulin. 2017. "Challenges for Cloud Modeling in the Context of Aerosol–Cloud–Precipitation Interactions". United States. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0291.1.
@article{osti_1393743,
title = {Challenges for Cloud Modeling in the Context of Aerosol–Cloud–Precipitation Interactions},
author = {Lebo, Zachary J. and Shipway, Ben J. and Fan, Jiwen and Geresdi, Istvan and Hill, Adrian and Miltenberger, Annette and Morrison, Hugh and Rosenberg, Phil and Varble, Adam and Xue, Lulin},
abstractNote = {The International Cloud Modeling Workshop (CMW) has been a longstanding tradition in the cloud microphysics modeling community and is typically held the week prior to the International Conference on Clouds and Precipitation (ICCP). For the Ninth CMW, more than 40 participants from 10 countries convened at the Met Office in Exeter, United Kingdom. The workshop included 4 detailed case studies (described in more detail below) rooted in recent field campaigns. The overarching objective of these cases was to utilize new observations to better understand inter-model differences and model deficiencies, explore new modeling techniques, and gain physical insight into the behavior of clouds. As was the case at the Eighth CMW, there was a general theme of understanding the role of aerosol impacts in the context of cloud-precipitation interactions. However, an additional objective was the focal point of several cases at the most recent workshop: microphysical-dynamical interactions. Many of the cases focused less on idealized small-domain simulations (as was the general focus of previous workshops) and more on large-scale nested configurations examining effects at various scales.},
doi = {10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0291.1},
journal = {Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society},
number = 8,
volume = 98,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 8
}
  • Over the past decade, the number of studies that investigate aerosol-cloud interactions has increased considerably. Although tremendous progress has been made to improve our understanding of basic physical mechanisms of aerosol-cloud interactions and reduce their uncertainties in climate forcing, we are still in poor understanding of (1) some of the mechanisms that interact with each other over multiple spatial and temporal scales, (2) the feedback between microphysical and dynamical processes and between local-scale processes and large-scale circulations, and (3) the significance of cloud-aerosol interactions on weather systems as well as regional and global climate. This review focuses on recent theoreticalmore » studies and important mechanisms on aerosol-cloud interactions, and discusses the significances of aerosol impacts on raditative forcing and precipitation extremes associated with different cloud systems. Despite significant understanding has been gained about aerosol impacts on the main cloud types, there are still many unknowns especially associated with various deep convective systems. Therefore, large efforts are needed to escalate our understanding. Future directions should focus on obtaining concurrent measurements of aerosol properties, cloud microphysical and dynamic properties over a range of temporal and spatial scales collected over typical climate regimes and closure studies, as well as improving understanding and parameterizations of cloud microphysics such as ice nucleation, mixed-phase properties, and hydrometeor size and fall speed« less
  • In this study, we adopt a parametric sensitivity analysis framework that integrates the quasi-Monte Carlo parameter sampling approach and a surrogate model to examine aerosol effects on the East Asian Monsoon climate simulated in the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM5). A total number of 256 CAM5 simulations are conducted to quantify the model responses to the uncertain parameters associated with cloud microphysics parameterizations and aerosol (e.g., sulfate, black carbon (BC), and dust) emission factors and their interactions. Results show that the interaction terms among parameters are important for quantifying the sensitivity of fields of interest, especially precipitation, to the parameters. Themore » relative importance of cloud-microphysics parameters and emission factors (strength) depends on evaluation metrics or the model fields we focused on, and the presence of uncertainty in cloud microphysics imposes an additional challenge in quantifying the impact of aerosols on cloud and climate. Due to their different optical and microphysical properties and spatial distributions, sulfate, BC, and dust aerosols have very different impacts on East Asian Monsoon through aerosol-cloud-radiation interactions. The climatic effects of aerosol do not always have a monotonic response to the change of emission factors. The spatial patterns of both sign and magnitude of aerosol-induced changes in radiative fluxes, cloud, and precipitation could be different, depending on the aerosol types, when parameters are sampled in different ranges of values. We also identify the different cloud microphysical parameters that show the most significant impact on climatic effect induced by sulfate, BC and dust, respectively, in East Asia.« less
  • In this study, we use a 1-D version of a climate-aerosol-chemistry model with both modal and sectional aerosol size representations to evaluate the impact of aerosol size representation on modeling aerosol-cloud interactions in shallow stratiform clouds observed during the 2nd Aerosol Characterization Experiment. Both the modal (with prognostic aerosol number and mass or prognostic aerosol number, surface area and mass, referred to as the Modal-NM and Modal-NSM) and the sectional approaches (with 12 and 36 sections) predict total number and mass for interstitial and activated particles that are generally within several percent of references from a high resolution 108-section approach.more » The modal approach with prognostic aerosol mass but diagnostic number (referred to as the Modal-M) cannot accurately predict the total particle number and surface areas, with deviations from the references ranging from 7-161%. The particle size distributions are sensitive to size representations, with normalized absolute differences of up to 12% and 37% for the 36- and 12-section approaches, and 30%, 39%, and 179% for the Modal-NSM, Modal-NM, and Modal-M, respectively. For the Modal-NSM and Modal-NM, differences from the references are primarily due to the inherent assumptions and limitations of the modal approach. In particular, they cannot resolve the abrupt size transition between the interstitial and activated aerosol fractions. For the 12- and 36-section approaches, differences are largely due to limitations of the parameterized activation for non-log-normal size distributions, plus the coarse resolution for the 12-section case. Differences are larger both with higher aerosol (i.e., less complete activation) and higher SO2 concentrations (i.e., greater modification of the initial aerosol distribution).« less
  • This paper describes a self-consistent prognostic cloud scheme that is able to predict cloud liquid water, amount and droplet number (N{sub d}) from the same updraft velocity field, and is suitable for modeling aerosol-cloud interactions in general circulation models (GCMs). In the scheme, the evolution of droplets fully interacts with the model meteorology. An explicit treatment of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activation allows the scheme to take into account the contributions to N{sub d} of multiple types of aerosol (i.e., sulfate, organic and sea-salt aerosols) and kinetic limitations of the activation process. An implementation of the prognostic scheme in themore » Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) AM2 GCM yields a vertical distribution of N{sub d} characteristic of maxima in the lower troposphere differing from that obtained through diagnosing N{sub d} empirically from sulfate mass concentrations. As a result, the agreement of model-predicted present-day cloud parameters with satellite measurements is improved compared to using diagnosed N{sub d}. The simulations with pre-industrial and present-day aerosols show that the combined first and second indirect effects of anthropogenic sulfate and organic aerosols give rise to a global annual mean flux change of -1.8 W m{sup -2} consisting of -2.0 W m{sup -2} in shortwave and 0.2 W m{sup -2} in longwave, as model response alters cloud field, and subsequently longwave radiation. Liquid water path (LWP) and total cloud amount increase by 19% and 0.6%, respectively. Largely owing to high sulfate concentrations from fossil fuel burning, the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitude land and oceans experience strong cooling. So does the tropical land which is dominated by biomass burning organic aerosol. The Northern/Southern Hemisphere and land/ocean ratios are 3.1 and 1.4, respectively. The calculated annual zonal mean flux changes are determined to be statistically significant, exceeding the model's natural variations in the NH low and mid-latitudes and in the SH low latitudes. Anthropogenic sulfate aerosol alone causes an annual mean flux change of -1.1 W m{sup -2}.« less
  • Monotonicity constraints and gradient preserving flux corrections employed by many advection algorithms used in atmospheric models make these algorithms non-linear. Consequently, any relations among model variables transported separately are not necessarily preserved in such models. These errors cannot be revealed by traditional algorithm testing based on advection of a single tracer. New type of tests are developed and conducted to evaluate the preservation of a sum of several number mixing ratios advected independently of each other, as is the case, for example, in models using bin or sectional representation of aerosol or cloud particle size distribution. The tests show thatmore » when three tracers are advected in 1D uniform constant velocity flow, local errors in the sum can be on the order of 10%. When cloud-like interactions are allowed among the tracers, errors in total sum of three mixing ratios can reach up to 30%. Several approaches to eliminate the error are suggested, all based on advecting the sum as a separate variable and then normalizing mixing ratios for individual tracers to match the total sum. A simple scalar normalization preserves the total number mixing ratio and positive definiteness of the variables but the monotonicity constraint for individual tracers is no longer maintained. More involved flux normalization procedures are developed for the flux based advection algorithms to maintain the monotonicity for individual scalars and their sum.« less