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Title: The Impact of Resolving Subkilometer Processes on Aerosol‐Cloud Interactions of Low‐Level Clouds in Global Model Simulations

Abstract

Subkilometer processes are critical to the physics of aerosol-cloud interaction (ACI) but have been dependent on parameterizations in global model simulations. We thus report the strength of ACI in the Ultra-Parameterized Community Atmosphere Model (UPCAM), a multiscale climate model that uses coarse exterior resolution to embed explicit cloud-resolving models with enough resolution (250 m horizontal, 20 m vertical) to quasi-resolve subkilometer eddies. To investigate the impact on ACIs, UPCAM's simulations are compared to a coarser multiscale model with 4 km horizontal resolution. UPCAM produces cloud droplet number concentrations (Nd) and cloud liquid water path (LWP) values that are higher than the coarser model but equally plausible compared to observations. Our analysis focuses on the Northern Hemisphere (20–50°N) oceans, where historical aerosol increases have been largest. We find similarities in the overall radiative forcing from ACIs in the two models, but this belies fundamental underlying differences. The radiative forcing from increases in LWP is weaker in UPCAM, whereas the forcing from increases in Nd is larger. Surprisingly, the weaker LWP increase is not due to a weaker increase in LWP in raining clouds, but a combination of weaker increase in LWP in nonraining clouds and a smaller fraction of raining cloudsmore » in UPCAM. The implication is that as global modeling moves toward finer than storm-resolving grids, nuanced model validation of ACI statistics conditioned on the existence of precipitation and good observational constraints on the baseline probability of precipitation will become key for tighter constraints and better conceptual understanding.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Department of Earth System Science University of California Irvine CA USA, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Livermore CA USA
  2. Department of Earth System Science University of California Irvine CA USA
  3. Department of Atmospheric Sciences University of Washington Seattle WA USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); National Science Foundation (NSF)
OSTI Identifier:
1698114
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1762841; OSTI ID: 1781232
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-812724
Journal ID: ISSN 1942-2466
Grant/Contract Number:  
17‐SC‐20‐SC; AC52-07NA27344; 17-SC-20-SC; AGS-1912130; AGS-191213; ACI-1548562
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems Journal Volume: 12 Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 1942-2466
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; aerosol-cloud interaction; clouds; climate change; GCM; multiscale model

Citation Formats

Terai, C. R., Pritchard, M. S., Blossey, P., and Bretherton, C. S.. The Impact of Resolving Subkilometer Processes on Aerosol‐Cloud Interactions of Low‐Level Clouds in Global Model Simulations. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020MS002274.
Terai, C. R., Pritchard, M. S., Blossey, P., & Bretherton, C. S.. The Impact of Resolving Subkilometer Processes on Aerosol‐Cloud Interactions of Low‐Level Clouds in Global Model Simulations. United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020MS002274
Terai, C. R., Pritchard, M. S., Blossey, P., and Bretherton, C. S.. Tue . "The Impact of Resolving Subkilometer Processes on Aerosol‐Cloud Interactions of Low‐Level Clouds in Global Model Simulations". United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020MS002274.
@article{osti_1698114,
title = {The Impact of Resolving Subkilometer Processes on Aerosol‐Cloud Interactions of Low‐Level Clouds in Global Model Simulations},
author = {Terai, C. R. and Pritchard, M. S. and Blossey, P. and Bretherton, C. S.},
abstractNote = {Subkilometer processes are critical to the physics of aerosol-cloud interaction (ACI) but have been dependent on parameterizations in global model simulations. We thus report the strength of ACI in the Ultra-Parameterized Community Atmosphere Model (UPCAM), a multiscale climate model that uses coarse exterior resolution to embed explicit cloud-resolving models with enough resolution (250 m horizontal, 20 m vertical) to quasi-resolve subkilometer eddies. To investigate the impact on ACIs, UPCAM's simulations are compared to a coarser multiscale model with 4 km horizontal resolution. UPCAM produces cloud droplet number concentrations (Nd) and cloud liquid water path (LWP) values that are higher than the coarser model but equally plausible compared to observations. Our analysis focuses on the Northern Hemisphere (20–50°N) oceans, where historical aerosol increases have been largest. We find similarities in the overall radiative forcing from ACIs in the two models, but this belies fundamental underlying differences. The radiative forcing from increases in LWP is weaker in UPCAM, whereas the forcing from increases in Nd is larger. Surprisingly, the weaker LWP increase is not due to a weaker increase in LWP in raining clouds, but a combination of weaker increase in LWP in nonraining clouds and a smaller fraction of raining clouds in UPCAM. The implication is that as global modeling moves toward finer than storm-resolving grids, nuanced model validation of ACI statistics conditioned on the existence of precipitation and good observational constraints on the baseline probability of precipitation will become key for tighter constraints and better conceptual understanding.},
doi = {10.1029/2020MS002274},
journal = {Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems},
number = 11,
volume = 12,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {11}
}

Journal Article:
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https://doi.org/10.1029/2020MS002274

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