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  • Author or Editor: Minghua Zhang x
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Xiping Zeng
,
Wei-Kuo Tao
,
Minghua Zhang
,
Arthur Y. Hou
,
Shaocheng Xie
,
Stephen Lang
,
Xiaowen Li
,
David O’C. Starr
,
Xiaofan Li
, and
Joanne Simpson

Abstract

A three-dimensional cloud-resolving model (CRM) with observed large-scale forcing is used to study how ice nuclei (IN) affect the net radiative flux at the top of the atmosphere (TOA). In all the numerical experiments carried out, the cloud ice content in the upper troposphere increases with IN number concentration via the Bergeron process. As a result, the upward solar flux at the TOA increases whereas the infrared one decreases. Because of the opposite response of the two fluxes to IN concentration, the sensitivity of the net radiative flux at the TOA to IN concentration varies from one case to another.

Six tropical and three midlatitudinal field campaigns provide data to model the effect of IN on radiation in different latitudes. Classifying the CRM simulations into tropical and midlatitudinal and then comparing the two types reveals that the indirect effect of IN on radiation is greater in the middle latitudes than in the tropics. Furthermore, comparisons between model results and observations suggest that observational IN data are necessary to evaluate long-term CRM simulations.

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Xiping Zeng
,
Wei-Kuo Tao
,
Minghua Zhang
,
Christa Peters-Lidard
,
Stephen Lang
,
Joanne Simpson
,
Sujay Kumar
,
Shaocheng Xie
,
Joseph L. Eastman
,
Chung-Lin Shie
, and
James V. Geiger

Abstract

Two 20-day, continental midlatitude cases are simulated with a three-dimensional (3D) cloud-resolving model (CRM) and are compared to Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) data. Surface fluxes from ARM ground stations and a land data assimilation system are used to drive the CRM. This modeling evaluation shows that the model simulates precipitation well but overpredicts clouds, especially in the upper troposphere. The evaluation also shows that the ARM surface fluxes can have noticeable errors in summertime.

Theoretical analysis reveals that buoyancy damping is sensitive to spatial smoothers in two-dimensional (2D) CRMs, but not in 3D ones. With this theoretical analysis and the ARM cloud observations as background, 2D and 3D simulations are compared, showing that the 2D CRM has not only rapid fluctuations in surface precipitation but also spurious dehumidification (or a decrease in cloud amount). The present study suggests that the rapid precipitation fluctuation and spurious dehumidification be attributed to the sensitivity of buoyancy damping to dimensionality.

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