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Title: Aerosol Microphysical and Radiative Effects on Continental Cloud Ensembles

Aerosol-cloud-radiation interactions represent one of the largest uncertainties in the current climate assessment. Much of the complexity arises from the non-monotonic responses of clouds, precipitation and radiative fluxes to aerosol perturbations under various meteorological conditions. Here, an aerosol-aware Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is used to investigate the microphysical and radiative effects of aerosols in three weather systems during the March 2000 Cloud Intensive Observational Period campaign at the Southern Great Plains site of the US Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program. Three cloud ensembles with different meteorological conditions are simulated, including a low-pressure deep convective cloud system, a series of lessprecipitating stratus and shallow cumulus, and a cold frontal passage. The WRF simulations are evaluated by the available observations of cloud fraction, liquid water path, precipitation, and surface temperature. The microphysical properties of cloud hydrometeors, such as their mass and number concentrations, generally show monotonic trends as a function of cloud condensation nuclei concentrations. Aerosol radiative effects do not interfere the trends of cloud microphysics, except for the stratus and shallow cumulus cases where aerosol semi-direct effects are identified. The precipitation changes by aerosols vary with the cloud types and their evolving stages, with more prominent aerosol invigoration effect andmore » associated enhanced precipitation from the convective sources. Furthermore, the simulated aerosol direct effect suppresses precipitation in all three cases but does not overturn the direction of precipitation changes by the aerosol indirect effect. Cloud fraction exhibits much smaller sensitivity (typically less than 2%) to aerosol perturbations than the cloud microphysics, and the responses vary with aerosol concentrations and cloud regimes. The surface shortwave radiation shows a monotonic decrease by increasing aerosols, while the magnitude of the decrease depends on the cloud type. Surface temperature changes closely follow the modulation of the surface radiation fluxes.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [1] ;  [3]
  1. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), Pasadena, CA (United States). Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
  2. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States). Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences; McGill Univ., Montreal, QC (Canada). Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
  3. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States). Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences
  4. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Environmental and Climate Sciences Dept.
  5. Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States). Dept. of Hydrology
  6. California Inst. of Technology (CalTech), La Canada Flintridge, CA (United States). Jet Propulsion Lab.
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0256-1530; R&D Project: 2016-BNL-EE630EECA-Budg; KP1701000
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 35; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 0256-1530
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: