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Title: Investigation of Aerosol Indirect Effects using a Cumulus Microphysics Parameterization in a Regional Climate Model

A new Zhang and McFarlane (ZM) cumulus scheme includes a two-moment cloud microphysics parameterization for convective clouds. This allows aerosol effects to be investigated more comprehensively by linking aerosols with microphysical processes in both stratiform clouds that are explicitly resolved and convective clouds that are parameterized in climate models. This new scheme is implemented in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, which is coupled with the physics and aerosol packages from the Community Atmospheric Model version 5 (CAM5). A test case of July 2008 during the East Asian summer monsoon is selected to evaluate the performance of the new ZM scheme and to investigate aerosol effects on monsoon precipitation. The precipitation and radiative fluxes simulated by the new ZM scheme show a better agreement with observations compared to simulations with the original ZM scheme that does not include convective cloud microphysics and aerosol convective cloud interactions. Detailed analysis suggests that an increase in detrained cloud water and ice mass by the new ZM scheme is responsible for this improvement. To investigate precipitation response to increased anthropogenic aerosols, a sensitivity experiment is performed that mimics a clean environment by reducing the primary aerosols and anthropogenic emissions to 30% of thatmore » used in the control simulation of a polluted environment. The simulated surface precipitation is reduced by 9.8% from clean to polluted environment and the reduction is less significant when microphysics processes are excluded from the cumulus clouds. Ensemble experiments with ten members under each condition (i.e., clean and polluted) indicate similar response of the monsoon precipitation to increasing aerosols.« less
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres), 119(2):906–926
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
aerosol indirect effects; cumulus microphysics; regional climate model