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Liquid and Ice Cloud Microphysics in the CSU General Circulation Model. Part II: Impact on Cloudiness, the Earth's Radiation Budget, and the General Circulation of the Atmosphere

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Abstract

A prognostic equation for the mass of condensate associated with large-scale cloudiness introduces a direct coupling between the atmospheric moisture budget and the radiation budget through interactive cloud amounts and cloud optical properties. We have compared the cloudiness, the top-of-the-atmosphere and surface radiation budgets, the radiative forcing of clouds, and the atmospheric general circulation simulated with the Colorado State University general circulation model with and without such a prognostic cloud parameterization. In the EAULIQ run, the radiative effects of cloud water, cloud ice, and snow are considered; those of rain are omitted. The cloud optical depth and cloud infrared emissivity depend on the cloud water, cloud ice, and snow paths predicted by a bulk cloud microphysics parameterization. In the CONTROL run, a conventional large-scale condensation scheme is used. Cloud optical properties depend on the mean cloud temperatures. Results are presented in terms of January and July means.

Comparisons with data from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project and the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment show that EAULIQ yields improved simulations of the geographical distributions of the simulated cloudiness, the top-of-the-atmosphere radiation budget, and the longwave and shortwave cloud radiative forcings. Differences between EAULIQ and CONTROL are largest in the Tropics and are mostly due to a decrease, in the EAULIQ run, in the amount and optical thickness of upper-tropospheric clouds. In particular, the cold bias in the outgoing longwave radiation and the overestimation of the planetary albedo obtained in the CONTROL run over the tropical convective regions are substantially reduced. Differences in the radiative and latent heating rates between EAULIQ and CONTROL lead to some improvements in the atmospheric general circulation simulated by EAULIQ when compared against statistics on the observed circulation assembled by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. When compared to CONTROL, EAULIQ yields a warmer troposphere except below 8 km between 3°N and 30°S. The mean meridional circulation is significantly weakened in the EAULIQ run.

Abstract

A prognostic equation for the mass of condensate associated with large-scale cloudiness introduces a direct coupling between the atmospheric moisture budget and the radiation budget through interactive cloud amounts and cloud optical properties. We have compared the cloudiness, the top-of-the-atmosphere and surface radiation budgets, the radiative forcing of clouds, and the atmospheric general circulation simulated with the Colorado State University general circulation model with and without such a prognostic cloud parameterization. In the EAULIQ run, the radiative effects of cloud water, cloud ice, and snow are considered; those of rain are omitted. The cloud optical depth and cloud infrared emissivity depend on the cloud water, cloud ice, and snow paths predicted by a bulk cloud microphysics parameterization. In the CONTROL run, a conventional large-scale condensation scheme is used. Cloud optical properties depend on the mean cloud temperatures. Results are presented in terms of January and July means.

Comparisons with data from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project and the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment show that EAULIQ yields improved simulations of the geographical distributions of the simulated cloudiness, the top-of-the-atmosphere radiation budget, and the longwave and shortwave cloud radiative forcings. Differences between EAULIQ and CONTROL are largest in the Tropics and are mostly due to a decrease, in the EAULIQ run, in the amount and optical thickness of upper-tropospheric clouds. In particular, the cold bias in the outgoing longwave radiation and the overestimation of the planetary albedo obtained in the CONTROL run over the tropical convective regions are substantially reduced. Differences in the radiative and latent heating rates between EAULIQ and CONTROL lead to some improvements in the atmospheric general circulation simulated by EAULIQ when compared against statistics on the observed circulation assembled by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. When compared to CONTROL, EAULIQ yields a warmer troposphere except below 8 km between 3°N and 30°S. The mean meridional circulation is significantly weakened in the EAULIQ run.

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