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Greg M. McFarquhar, Ping Yang, Andreas Macke, and Anthony J. Baran

Abstract

Parameterizations of single scattering properties currently used in cloud resolving and general circulation models are somewhat limited in that they typically assume the presence of single particle habits, do not adequately account for the numbers of ice crystals with diameters smaller than 100 μm, and contain no information about the variance of parameterization coefficients. Here, new parameterizations of mean single scattering properties (e.g., single scatter albedo, asymmetry parameter, and extinction efficiency) for distributions of ice crystals in tropical anvils are developed. Using information about the size and shape of ice crystals acquired by a two-dimensional cloud probe during the Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment (CEPEX), a self-organized neural network defines shape based on simulations of how the particle maximum dimension and area ratio (ratio of projected area to that of circumscribed circle with maximum dimension) vary for random orientations of different idealized shapes (i.e., columns, bullet rosettes, rough aggregates, and particles represented by Chebyshev polynomials). The size distributions for ice crystals smaller than 100 μm are based on parameterizations developed using representative samples of 11 633 crystals imaged by a video ice particle sampler (VIPS). The mean-scattering properties for distributions of ice crystals are then determined by weighting the single scattering properties of individual ice crystals, determined using an improved geometric ray-tracing method, according to number concentration and scattering cross section.

The featureless nature of the calculated phase function, averaged over all observed sizes and shapes of ice crystals, is similar to that obtained using other schemes designed to account for variations in sizes and shapes of ice crystals. The new parameterizations of single scatter albedo, asymmetry parameter, and extinction efficiency are then determined by functional fits in terms of cloud particle effective radius; there was no statistically significant dependence on either ice water content or temperature. Uncertainty estimates incorporated into the parameterization coefficients are based upon a Monte Carlo approach. Comparisons with previously used parameterizations and with parameterizations developed using single crystal habits are made to show that the determination of representative crystal habits is still a major unknown in the development of parameterization schemes.

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Steven J. Cooper, Tristan S. L’Ecuyer, Philip Gabriel, Anthony J. Baran, and Graeme L. Stephens

Abstract

Cirrus clouds play an important yet poorly determined role in the earth’s climate system and its various feedback mechanisms. As such, a significant amount of work has been accomplished both in understanding the physics of the ice clouds and in using this knowledge to estimate global distributions of ice cloud properties from satellite-based instruments. This work seeks to build on these past efforts by offering a reexamination of the ice cloud retrieval problem in context of recent advancements in the understanding of optical properties for a variety of realistic ice crystal shapes. In this work, the formal information content analysis outlined in Part I is used to objectively select the optimal combination of measurements for an ice cloud microphysical property retrieval scheme given a realistic assessment of the uncertainties that govern the ice cloud retrieval problem. Although this analysis is for a theoretical retrieval combining simulated measurements from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) with the CloudSat Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR) above an ocean surface, the general methodology is applicable to any instrument package. Channel selection via information content is determined through a realistic characterization of not only the sensitivity of top-of-the-atmosphere radiances to desired retrieval parameters but also to the uncertainties resulting from both the measurements themselves and from the forward model assumptions used in relating observational and retrieval space. Results suggest that the channels that maximize retrieval information are strongly dependent upon the state of the atmosphere, meaning that no combination of two or three channels will always ensure an accurate retrieval. Because of the complexities of this state-dependent nature and the need for a consistent retrieval scheme for an operational retrieval, a five-channel retrieval approach consisting of a combination of error-weighted visible, near-infrared, and infrared channels is suggested. Such an approach ensures high information content regardless of cloud and atmospheric properties through use of the inherent sensitivities in each of these spectral regions.

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David L. Mitchell, Anthony J. Baran, W. P. Arnott, and C. Schmitt

Abstract

The modified anomalous diffraction approximation (MADA) is used to predict absorption and extinction in water and ice clouds, but it does not predict the scattering phase function or asymmetry parameter g. In conjunction with g parameterizations, it has been used in satellite remote sensing and to treat the radiative properties of ice clouds in global climate models. However, it has undergone only limited testing. This study 1) compares extinction efficiencies (Q ext) predicted by MADA for a laboratory grown ice cloud against corresponding Q ext measurements over the wavelength range 2–14 μm; 2) tests absorption efficiencies (Q abs) and Q ext predicted by MADA against those predicted by T-matrix theory and the finite difference time domain (FDTD) method; and 3) compares MADA with three popular schemes used for predicting the radiative properties of cirrus clouds. In addition, the photon tunneling process may contribute up to 45% of the absorption in water clouds at some terrestrial wavelengths, but its role in ice clouds is uncertain since it depends on particle shape. For the first time, the efficiency of photon tunneling was parameterized in terms of ice particle shape. Finally, an alternate formulation of MADA that offers some physical insights is presented.

MADA errors relative to the Q ext measurements were 3.0% on average, while mean MADA errors relative to Q abs from T-matrix, over the wavelength range 2–18 μm (size parameter range 2–22), were 5.9%. The mean error for the single scattering albedo relative to T-matrix calculations was 2.5%. MADA absorption errors relative to FDTD over the wavelength range 3–100 μm were no greater than 15% for six ice particle shapes. Finally, the absorption coefficients predicted by MADA and two other popular parameterizations generally agreed within 5%.

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Anthony J. Baran, Peter Hill, Kalli Furtado, Paul Field, and James Manners

Abstract

A new coupled cloud physics–radiation parameterization of the bulk optical properties of ice clouds is presented. The parameterization is consistent with assumptions in the cloud physics scheme regarding particle size distributions (PSDs) and mass–dimensional relationships. The parameterization is based on a weighted ice crystal habit mixture model, and its bulk optical properties are parameterized as simple functions of wavelength and ice water content (IWC). This approach directly couples IWC to the bulk optical properties, negating the need for diagnosed variables, such as the ice crystal effective dimension. The parameterization is implemented into the Met Office Unified Model Global Atmosphere 5.0 (GA5) configuration. The GA5 configuration is used to simulate the annual 20-yr shortwave (SW) and longwave (LW) fluxes at the top of the atmosphere (TOA), as well as the temperature structure of the atmosphere, under various microphysical assumptions. The coupled parameterization is directly compared against the current operational radiation parameterization, while maintaining the same cloud physics assumptions. In this experiment, the impacts of the two parameterizations on the SW and LW radiative effects at TOA are also investigated and compared against observations. The 20-yr simulations are compared against the latest observations of the atmospheric temperature and radiative fluxes at TOA. The comparisons demonstrate that the choice of PSD and the assumed ice crystal shape distribution are as important as each other. Moreover, the consistent radiation parameterization removes a long-standing tropical troposphere cold temperature bias but slightly warms the southern midlatitudes by about 0.5 K.

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Anthony J. Baran, Peter Hill, David Walters, Steven C. Hardiman, Kalli Furtado, Paul R. Field, and James Manners

Abstract

The impact of two different coupled cirrus microphysics–radiation parameterizations on the zonally averaged temperature and humidity biases in the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) of a Met Office climate model configuration is assessed. One parameterization is based on a linear coupling between a model prognostic variable, the ice mass mixing ratio q i, and the integral optical properties. The second is based on the integral optical properties being parameterized as functions of q i and temperature, T c, where the mass coefficients (i.e., scattering and extinction) are parameterized as nonlinear functions of the ratio between q i and T c. The cirrus microphysics parameterization is based on a moment estimation parameterization of the particle size distribution (PSD), which relates the mass moment (i.e., second moment if mass is proportional to size raised to the power of 2) of the PSD to all other PSD moments through the magnitude of the second moment and T c. This same microphysics PSD parameterization is applied to calculate the integral optical properties used in both radiation parameterizations and, thus, ensures PSD and mass consistency between the cirrus microphysics and radiation schemes. In this paper, the temperature-non-dependent and temperature-dependent parameterizations are shown to increase and decrease the zonally averaged temperature biases in the TTL by about 1 K, respectively. The temperature-dependent radiation parameterization is further demonstrated to have a positive impact on the specific humidity biases in the TTL, as well as decreasing the shortwave and longwave biases in the cloudy radiative effect. The temperature-dependent radiation parameterization is shown to be more consistent with TTL and global radiation observations.

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