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Andreas Chlond

Abstract

Numerical simulations of contrails have been performed to investigate the role of various external parameters and physical processes in the life cycle of contrails. The general idea underlying the model is that of a large-eddy model. The model explicitly represents the large-scale three-dimensional motions (10-m grid resolution), while small-scale turbulence is parameterized; it contains a detailed microphysical model and it takes into account infrared radiative cooling in cloudy conditions and the vertical shear of the ambient flow.

The model is applied to conditions typical for those under which contrails could be observed, that is, in an atmosphere which is supersaturated with respect to ice and at a temperature of 220 K. The simulations begin in the late dispersion phase (i.e., about 103 s after exhaust) and trace the evolution of the contrails for a half-hour period. Coherent structures can be identified within these clouds with vertical velocity fluctuations of the order of 0.1 m s−1 that are generated mainly by buoyancy due to latent heat release. In addition, the sensitivity runs undertaken as a test of the model to a change in significant physical processes or external parameters indicate that the contrail evolution is controled primarily by humidity, temperature, and static stability of the ambient air and secondarily by the baroclinicity of the atmosphere. Moreover, it turns out that the initial ice particle concentration and radiative processes are of minor importance in the evolution of contrails, at least during the 30-min simulation period.

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Andreas Chlond

Abstract

A simple and effective self-adjusting hybrid technique has been introduced to develop a new conservative and monotonic advection scheme that exhibits very low numerical diffusion of resolvable scales. The proposed scheme combines Bott's area-preserving flux-form algorithm with an area-preserving exponential interpolating scheme, the use of either at any particular location being automatically controlled by the local ratio of the nodal values involved in the approximation process.

The performance of the combined scheme is illuminated in a series of one- and two-dimensional linear advection experiments. The comparative test calculations presented demonstrate that the combined scheme provides highly accurate solutions both in regions where the transported flow variable is smooth and in the vicinity of sharp gradients. Furthermore, the self-adjusting hybrid technique is highly effective in removing numerical artifacts such as dispersive ripples and simultaneously requires only an admissible additional computational effort relative to Bott's scheme. Thus, it is concluded that the combined scheme is well suited for many atmospheric modeling applications where advection plays a significant role.

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Ping Zhu, Christopher S. Bretherton, Martin Köhler, Anning Cheng, Andreas Chlond, Quanzhen Geng, Phil Austin, Jean-Christophe Golaz, Geert Lenderink, Adrian Lock, and Bjorn Stevens

Abstract

Ten single-column models (SCMs) from eight groups are used to simulate a nocturnal nonprecipitating marine stratocumulus-topped mixed layer as part of an intercomparison organized by the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment Cloud System Study, Working Group 1. The case is idealized from observations from the Dynamics and Chemistry of Marine Stratocumulus II, Research Flight 1. SCM simulations with operational resolution are supplemented by high-resolution simulations and compared with observations and large-eddy simulations. All participating SCMs are able to maintain a sharp inversion and a mixed cloud-topped layer, although the moisture profiles show a slight gradient in the mixed layer and produce entrainment rates broadly consistent with observations, but the liquid water paths vary by a factor of 10 after only 1 h of simulation at both high and operational resolution. Sensitivity tests show insensitivity to activation of precipitation and shallow convection schemes in most models, as one would observationally expect for this case.

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A. Pier Siebesma, Christopher S. Bretherton, Andrew Brown, Andreas Chlond, Joan Cuxart, Peter G. Duynkerke, Hongli Jiang, Marat Khairoutdinov, David Lewellen, Chin-Hoh Moeng, Enrique Sanchez, Bjorn Stevens, and David E. Stevens

Abstract

This paper reports an intercomparison study on undisturbed trade wind cumulus convection under steady-state conditions as observed during the Barbados Oceanographic and Meteorological Experiment (BOMEX) with 10 large eddy simulation (LES) models. A main objective of this study is to obtain a quantitative assessment of the quality of the turbulent dynamics for this type of boundary layer clouds as produced by the different LES codes. A 6-h simulation shows excellent model-to-model agreement of the observed vertical thermodynamical structure, reasonable agreement of variances and turbulent fluxes, and good agreement of quantities conditionally sampled within the model clouds, such as cloud cover, liquid water, and cloud updraft strength. In the second part of this paper the LES dataset is used to evaluate simple models that are used in parameterizations of current general circulation models (GCMs). Finally, the relation of this work to subsequent LES studies of more complicated regimes is discussed, and guidance is given for the design of future observational studies of shallow cumulus boundary layers.

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Bjorn Stevens, Andrew S. Ackerman, Bruce A. Albrecht, Andrew R. Brown, Andreas Chlond, Joan Cuxart, Peter G. Duynkerke, David C. Lewellen, Malcolm K. Macvean, Roel A. J. Neggers, Enrique Sánchez, A. Pier Siebesma, and David E. Stevens

Abstract

The fifth intercomparison of the Global Water and Energy Experiment Cloud System Studies Working Group 1 is used as a vehicle for better understanding the dynamics of trade wind cumuli capped by a strong inversion. The basis of the intercomparison is 10 simulations by 7 groups. These simulations are supplemented by many further sensitivity studies, including some with very refined grid meshes.

The simulations help illustrate the turbulent dynamics of trade cumuli in such a regime. In many respects the dynamics are similar to those found in many previous simulations of trade cumuli capped by weaker inversions. The principal differences are the extent to which the cloud layer is quasi-steady in the current simulations, evidence of weak countergradient momentum transport within the cloud layer, and the development and influence of an incipient stratiform cloud layer at the top of the cloud layer. Although many elements of the turbulent structure (including the wind profiles, the evolution of cloud-base height, the statistics of the subcloud layer, and the nature of mixing in the lower and middle parts of the cloud layer) are robustly predicted, the representation of the stratiform cloud amount by the different simulations is remarkably sensitive to a number of factors. Chief among these are differences between numerical algorithms. These sensitivities persist even among simulations on relatively refined grid meshes. Part of this sensitivity is attributed to a physically realistic positive radiative feedback, whereby a propensity toward higher cloud fractions in any given simulation is amplified by longwave radiative cooling.

The simulations also provide new insight into the dynamics of the transition layer at cloud base. In accord with observations, the simulations predict that this layer is most identifiable in terms of moisture variances and gradients. The simulations help illustrate the highly variable (in both height and thickness) nature of the transition layer, and we speculate that this variability helps regulate convection.

Lastly the simulations are used to help evaluate simple models of trade wind boundary layers. In accord with previous studies, mass-flux models well represent the dynamics of the cloud layer, while mixing-length models well represent the subcloud layer. The development of the stratiform cloud layer is not, however, captured by the mass-flux models. The simulations indicate that future theoretical research needs to focus on interface rules, whereby the cloud layer is coupled to the subcloud layer below and the free atmosphere above. Future observational studies of this regime would be of most benefit if they could provide robust cloud statistics as a function of mean environmental conditions.

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Bjorn Stevens, Chin-Hoh Moeng, Andrew S. Ackerman, Christopher S. Bretherton, Andreas Chlond, Stephan de Roode, James Edwards, Jean-Christophe Golaz, Hongli Jiang, Marat Khairoutdinov, Michael P. Kirkpatrick, David C. Lewellen, Adrian Lock, Frank Müller, David E. Stevens, Eoin Whelan, and Ping Zhu

Abstract

Data from the first research flight (RF01) of the second Dynamics and Chemistry of Marine Stratocumulus (DYCOMS-II) field study are used to evaluate the fidelity with which large-eddy simulations (LESs) can represent the turbulent structure of stratocumulus-topped boundary layers. The initial data and forcings for this case placed it in an interesting part of parameter space, near the boundary where cloud-top mixing is thought to render the cloud layer unstable on the one hand, or tending toward a decoupled structure on the other hand. The basis of this evaluation consists of sixteen 4-h simulations from 10 modeling centers over grids whose vertical spacing was 5 m at the cloud-top interface and whose horizontal spacing was 35 m. Extensive sensitivity studies of both the configuration of the case and the numerical setup also enhanced the analysis. Overall it was found that (i) if efforts are made to reduce spurious mixing at cloud top, either by refining the vertical grid or limiting the effects of the subgrid model in this region, then the observed turbulent and thermodynamic structure of the layer can be reproduced with some fidelity; (ii) the base, or native configuration of most simulations greatly overestimated mixing at cloud top, tending toward a decoupled layer in which cloud liquid water path and turbulent intensities were grossly underestimated; (iii) the sensitivity of the simulations to the representation of mixing at cloud top is, to a certain extent, amplified by particulars of this case. Overall the results suggest that the use of LESs to map out the behavior of the stratocumulus-topped boundary layer in this interesting region of parameter space requires a more compelling representation of processes at cloud top. In the absence of significant leaps in the understanding of subgrid-scale (SGS) physics, such a representation can only be achieved by a significant refinement in resolution—a refinement that, while conceivable given existing resources, is probably still beyond the reach of most centers.

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Andrew S. Ackerman, Margreet C. vanZanten, Bjorn Stevens, Verica Savic-Jovcic, Christopher S. Bretherton, Andreas Chlond, Jean-Christophe Golaz, Hongli Jiang, Marat Khairoutdinov, Steven K. Krueger, David C. Lewellen, Adrian Lock, Chin-Hoh Moeng, Kozo Nakamura, Markus D. Petters, Jefferson R. Snider, Sonja Weinbrecht, and Mike Zulauf

Abstract

Cloud water sedimentation and drizzle in a stratocumulus-topped boundary layer are the focus of an intercomparison of large-eddy simulations. The context is an idealized case study of nocturnal stratocumulus under a dry inversion, with embedded pockets of heavily drizzling open cellular convection. Results from 11 groups are used. Two models resolve the size distributions of cloud particles, and the others parameterize cloud water sedimentation and drizzle. For the ensemble of simulations with drizzle and cloud water sedimentation, the mean liquid water path (LWP) is remarkably steady and consistent with the measurements, the mean entrainment rate is at the low end of the measured range, and the ensemble-average maximum vertical wind variance is roughly half that measured. On average, precipitation at the surface and at cloud base is smaller, and the rate of precipitation evaporation greater, than measured. Including drizzle in the simulations reduces convective intensity, increases boundary layer stratification, and decreases LWP for nearly all models. Including cloud water sedimentation substantially decreases entrainment, decreases convective intensity, and increases LWP for most models. In nearly all cases, LWP responds more strongly to cloud water sedimentation than to drizzle. The omission of cloud water sedimentation in simulations is strongly discouraged, regardless of whether or not precipitation is present below cloud base.

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