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Title: Investigating ice nucleation in cirrus clouds with an aerosol-enabled Multiscale Modeling Framework

In this study, an aerosol-dependent ice nucleation scheme [Liu and Penner, 2005] has been implemented in an aerosol-enabled multi-scale modeling framework (PNNL MMF) to study ice formation in upper troposphere cirrus clouds through both homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation. The MMF model represents cloud scale processes by embedding a cloud-resolving model (CRM) within each vertical column of a GCM grid. By explicitly linking ice nucleation to aerosol number concentration, CRM-scale temperature, relative humidity and vertical velocity, the new MMF model simulates the persistent high ice supersaturation and low ice number concentration (10 to 100/L) at cirrus temperatures. The low ice number is attributed to the dominance of heterogeneous nucleation in ice formation. The new model simulates the observed shift of the ice supersaturation PDF towards higher values at low temperatures following homogeneous nucleation threshold. The MMF models predict a higher frequency of midlatitude supersaturation in the Southern hemisphere and winter hemisphere, which is consistent with previous satellite and in-situ observations. It is shown that compared to a conventional GCM, the MMF is a more powerful model to emulate parameters that evolve over short time scales such as supersaturation. Sensitivity tests suggest that the simulated global distribution of ice clouds is sensitivemore » to the ice nucleation schemes and the distribution of sulfate and dust aerosols. Simulations are also performed to test empirical parameters related to auto-conversion of ice crystals to snow. Results show that with a value of 250 μm for the critical diameter, Dcs, that distinguishes ice crystals from snow, the model can produce good agreement to the satellite retrieved products in terms of cloud ice water path and ice water content, while the total ice water is not sensitive to the specification of Dcs value.« less
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Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1942-2466; KP1703010
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 1942-2466
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ice nucleation; cirrus cloud; aerosol enabled multi-scale modeling framework
OSTI Identifier: