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T. M. L. Wigley, S. J. Smith, and M. J. Prather

Abstract

Reactive gas emissions (CO, NOx, VOC) have indirect radiative forcing effects through their influences on tropospheric ozone and on the lifetimes of methane and hydrogenated halocarbons. These effects are quantified here for the full set of emissions scenarios developed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Emissions Scenarios. In most of these no-climate-policy scenarios, anthropogenic reactive gas emissions increase substantially over the twenty-first century. For the implied increases in tropospheric ozone, the maximum forcing exceeds 1 W m−2 by 2100 (range −0.14 to +1.03 W m−2). The changes are moderated somewhat through compensating influences from NOx versus CO and VOC. Reactive gas forcing influences through methane and halocarbons are much smaller; 2100 ranges are −0.20 to +0.23 W m−2 for methane and −0.04 to +0.07 W m−2 for the halocarbons. Future climate change might be reduced through policies limiting reactive gas emissions, but the potential for explicitly climate-motivated reductions depends critically on the extent of reductions that are likely to arise through air quality considerations and on the assumed baseline scenario.

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D. Rind, R. Suozzo, N. K. Balachandran, and M. J. Prather

Abstract

The impact of doubled atmospheric CO2 on the climate of the middle atmosphere is investigated using the GISS global climate/middle atmosphere model. In the standard experiment, the CO2 concentration is doubled both in the stratosphere and troposphere, and the sea surface temperatures are increased to match those of the doubled CO2 run of the GISS 9 level climate model. Additional experiments are run to determine how the middle atmospheric effects are influenced by tropospheric changes, and to separate the dynamic and radiative influences. These include the use of the greater high latitude/low latitude surface warming ratio generated by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory doubled CO2 experiments, doubling the CO2 only in either the troposphere or stratosphere, and allowing the middle atmosphere to react only radiatively.

As expected, doubled CO2 produces warmer temperatures in the troposphere, and generally cooler temperatures in the stratosphere. The net result is a decrease of static stability for the atmosphere as a whole. In addition, the 100 mb warming maximizes in the tropics, leading to improved propagation conditions for planetary waves, and increased potential energy in the lower stratosphere. These processes generate increased eddy energy in the middle atmosphere in most seasons. With greater eddy energy comes greater eddy forcing of the mean flow and an increase in the intensity of the residual circulation from the equator to the pole, which tends to warm high latitudes. Increased gravity wave drag in some of the experiments also helps to intensify the circulation. The middle atmosphere dynamical differences are on the order of 10%–20% of the model values for the current climate, and, along with the calculated temperature differences of up to some 10°C, may have a significant impact on the chemistry of the future atmosphere including that of stratospheric ozone, the polar ozone “hole,” and basic atmospheric composition.

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Allen B. White, Paul J. Neiman, Jessie M. Creamean, Timothy Coleman, F. Martin Ralph, and Kimberly A. Prather

Abstract

Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are narrow regions of enhanced water vapor transport, usually found on the warm-sector side of the polar cold front in many midlatitude storms formed primarily over the oceans. Nonbrightband (NBB) rain is a shallow orographic rainfall process driven by collision and coalescence that has been observed in some of these storms. NBB rain accounts for about one-third, on average, of the total winter season rainfall occurring at a coastal mountain site in Northern California. During the California Energy Commission’s CalWater project, nearly the same fraction of NBB rain was observed at a northern Sierra Nevada foothills site as compared to the coastal mountains, whereas less than half of the fractional amount of NBB rain was observed at a southern Sierra Nevada foothills site. Both Sierra Nevada sites often experience terrain-induced blocked flow, that is, Sierra barrier jet (SBJ) during landfalling winter storms. However, the northern Sierra Nevada site often is oriented geographically downwind of a gap in the coastal terrain near San Francisco during AR landfall. This gap allows maritime air in the AR to arrive at the northern site and enhance the collision–coalescence process in orographic feeder clouds as compared with the southern site. As a result, a greater amount and intensity of NBB rain and overall precipitation was produced at the northern site. This study uses a variety of observations collected in the coastal and Sierra Nevada ranges from the Hydrometeorology Testbed and CalWater field campaigns to document this behavior. A detailed case study provides additional context on the interaction between AR flow, the SBJ, and precipitation processes.

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Christina S. McCluskey, Thomas C. J. Hill, Camille M. Sultana, Olga Laskina, Jonathan Trueblood, Mitchell V. Santander, Charlotte M. Beall, Jennifer M. Michaud, Sonia M. Kreidenweis, Kimberly A. Prather, Vicki Grassian, and Paul J. DeMott

Abstract

The abundance of atmospheric ice nucleating particles (INPs) is a source of uncertainty for numerical representation of ice-phase transitions in mixed-phase clouds. While sea spray aerosol (SSA) exhibits less ice nucleating (IN) ability than terrestrial aerosol, marine INP emissions are linked to oceanic biological activity and are potentially an important source of INPs over remote oceans. Inadequate knowledge of marine INP identity limits the ability to parameterize this complex INP source. A previous manuscript described abundances of marine INPs in relation to several aerosol composition and ocean biology observations during two laboratory mesocosm experiments. In this study, the abundances and chemical and physical properties of INPs found during the same mesocosm experiments were directly probed in SSA, seawater, and surface microlayer samples. Two unique marine INP populations were found: 1) dissolved organic carbon INPs are suggested to be composed of IN-active molecules, and 2) particulate organic carbon INPs are attributed as intact cells or IN-active microbe fragments. Both marine INP types are likely to be emitted into SSA following decay of phytoplankton biomass when 1) the surface microlayer is significantly enriched with exudates and cellular detritus and SSA particles are preferentially coated with IN-active molecules or 2) diatom fragments and bacteria are relatively abundant in seawater and therefore more likely transferred into SSA. These findings inform future efforts for incorporating marine INP emissions into numerical models and motivate future studies to quantify specific marine molecules and isolate phytoplankton, bacteria, and other species that contribute to these marine INP types.

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F. M. Ralph, K. A. Prather, D. Cayan, J. R. Spackman, P. DeMott, M. Dettinger, C. Fairall, R. Leung, D. Rosenfeld, S. Rutledge, D. Waliser, A. B. White, J. Cordeira, A. Martin, J. Helly, and J. Intrieri

Abstract

The variability of precipitation and water supply along the U.S. West Coast creates major challenges to the region’s economy and environment, as evidenced by the recent California drought. This variability is strongly influenced by atmospheric rivers (ARs), which deliver much of the precipitation along the U.S. West Coast and can cause flooding, and by aerosols (from local sources and transported from remote continents and oceans) that modulate clouds and precipitation. A better understanding of these processes is needed to reduce uncertainties in weather predictions and climate projections of droughts and floods, both now and under changing climate conditions.

To address these gaps, a group of meteorologists, hydrologists, climate scientists, atmospheric chemists, and oceanographers have created an interdisciplinary research effort, with support from multiple agencies. From 2009 to 2011 a series of field campaigns [California Water Service (CalWater) 1] collected atmospheric chemistry, cloud microphysics, and meteorological measurements in California and associated modeling and diagnostic studies were carried out. Based on the remaining gaps, a vision was developed to extend these studies offshore over the eastern North Pacific and to enhance land-based measurements from 2014 to 2018 (CalWater-2). The dataset and selected results from CalWater-1 are summarized here. The goals of CalWater-2, and measurements to date, are then described.

CalWater is producing new findings and exploring new technologies to evaluate and improve global climate models and their regional performance and to develop tools supporting water and hydropower management. These advances also have potential to enhance hazard mitigation by improving near-term weather prediction and subseasonal and seasonal outlooks.

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V. Eyring, N. R. P. Harris, M. Rex, T. G. Shepherd, D. W. Fahey, G. T. Amanatidis, J. Austin, M. P. Chipperfield, M. Dameris, P. M. De F. Forster, A. Gettelman, H. F. Graf, T. Nagashima, P. A. Newman, S. Pawson, M. J. Prather, J. A. Pyle, R. J. Salawitch, B. D. Santer, and D. W. Waugh

Accurate and reliable predictions and an understanding of future changes in the stratosphere are major aspects of the subject of climate change. Simulating the interaction between chemistry and climate is of particular importance, because continued increases in greenhouse gases and a slow decrease in halogen loading are expected. These both influence the abundance of stratospheric ozone. In recent years a number of coupled chemistry–climate models (CCMs) with different levels of complexity have been developed. They produce a wide range of results concerning the timing and extent of ozone-layer recovery. Interest in reducing this range has created a need to address how the main dynamical, chemical, and physical processes that determine the long-term behavior of ozone are represented in the models and to validate these model processes through comparisons with observations and other models. A set of core validation processes structured around four major topics (transport, dynamics, radiation, and stratospheric chemistry and microphysics) has been developed. Each process is associated with one or more model diagnostics and with relevant datasets that can be used for validation. This approach provides a coherent framework for validating CCMs and can be used as a basis for future assessments. Similar efforts may benefit other modeling communities with a focus on earth science research as their models increase in complexity.

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Kerri A. Pratt, Andrew J. Heymsfield, Cynthia H. Twohy, Shane M. Murphy, Paul J. DeMott, James G. Hudson, R. Subramanian, Zhien Wang, John H. Seinfeld, and Kimberly A. Prather

Abstract

During the Ice in Clouds Experiment–Layer Clouds (ICE-L), aged biomass-burning particles were identified within two orographic wave cloud regions over Wyoming using single-particle mass spectrometry and electron microscopy. Using a suite of instrumentation, particle chemistry was characterized in tandem with cloud microphysics. The aged biomass-burning particles comprised ∼30%–40% by number of the 0.1–1.0-μm clear-air particles and were composed of potassium, organic carbon, elemental carbon, and sulfate. Aerosol mass spectrometry measurements suggested these cloud-processed particles were predominantly sulfate by mass. The first cloud region sampled was characterized by primarily homogeneously nucleated ice particles formed at temperatures near −40°C. The second cloud period was characterized by high cloud droplet concentrations (∼150–300 cm−3) and lower heterogeneously nucleated ice concentrations (7–18 L−1) at cloud temperatures of −24° to −25°C. As expected for the observed particle chemistry and dynamics of the observed wave clouds, few significant differences were observed between the clear-air particles and cloud residues. However, suggestive of a possible heterogeneous nucleation mechanism within the first cloud region, ice residues showed enrichments in the number fractions of soot and mass fractions of black carbon, measured by a single-particle mass spectrometer and a single-particle soot photometer, respectively. In addition, enrichment of biomass-burning particles internally mixed with oxalic acid in both the homogeneously nucleated ice and cloud droplets compared to clear air suggests either preferential activation as cloud condensation nuclei or aqueous phase cloud processing.

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Cynthia H. Twohy, Paul J. DeMott, Kerri A. Pratt, R. Subramanian, Gregory L. Kok, Shane M. Murphy, Traci Lersch, Andrew J. Heymsfield, Zhien Wang, Kim A. Prather, and John H. Seinfeld

Abstract

Ice concentrations in orographic wave clouds at temperatures between −24° and −29°C were shown to be related to aerosol characteristics in nearby clear air during five research flights over the Rocky Mountains. When clouds with influence from colder temperatures were excluded from the dataset, mean ice nuclei and cloud ice number concentrations were very low, on the order of 1–5 L−1. In this environment, ice number concentrations were found to be significantly correlated with the number concentration of larger particles, those larger than both 0.1- and 0.5-μm diameter. A variety of complementary techniques was used to measure aerosol size distributions and chemical composition. Strong correlations were also observed between ice concentrations and the number concentrations of soot and biomass-burning aerosols. Ice nuclei concentrations directly measured in biomass-burning plumes were the highest detected during the project. Taken together, this evidence indicates a potential role for biomass-burning aerosols in ice formation, particularly in regions with relatively low concentrations of other ice nucleating aerosols.

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T. Eidhammer, P. J. DeMott, A. J. Prenni, M. D. Petters, C. H. Twohy, D. C. Rogers, J. Stith, A. Heymsfield, Z. Wang, K. A. Pratt, K. A. Prather, S. M. Murphy, J. H. Seinfeld, R. Subramanian, and S. M. Kreidenweis

Abstract

The initiation of ice in an isolated orographic wave cloud was compared with expectations based on ice nucleating aerosol concentrations and with predictions from new ice nucleation parameterizations applied in a cloud parcel model. Measurements of ice crystal number concentrations were found to be in good agreement both with measured number concentrations of ice nuclei feeding the clouds and with ice nuclei number concentrations determined from the residual nuclei of cloud particles collected by a counterflow virtual impactor. Using lognormal distributions fitted to measured aerosol size distributions and measured aerosol chemical compositions, ice nuclei and ice crystal concentrations in the wave cloud were reasonably well predicted in a 1D parcel model framework. Two different empirical parameterizations were used in the parcel model: a parameterization based on aerosol chemical type and surface area and a parameterization that links ice nuclei number concentrations to the number concentrations of particles with diameters larger than 0.5 μm. This study shows that aerosol size distribution and composition measurements can be used to constrain ice initiation by primary nucleation in models. The data and model results also suggest the likelihood that the dust particle mode of the aerosol size distribution controls the number concentrations of the heterogeneous ice nuclei, at least for the lower temperatures examined in this case.

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Christina S. McCluskey, Thomas C. J. Hill, Francesca Malfatti, Camille M. Sultana, Christopher Lee, Mitchell V. Santander, Charlotte M. Beall, Kathryn A. Moore, Gavin C. Cornwell, Douglas B. Collins, Kimberly A. Prather, Thilina Jayarathne, Elizabeth A. Stone, Farooq Azam, Sonia M. Kreidenweis, and Paul J. DeMott

Abstract

Emission rates and properties of ice nucleating particles (INPs) are required for proper representation of aerosol–cloud interactions in atmospheric models. Few investigations have quantified marine INP emissions, a potentially important INP source for remote oceanic regions. Previous studies have suggested INPs in sea spray aerosol (SSA) are linked to oceanic biological activity. This proposed link was explored in this study by measuring INP emissions from nascent SSA during phytoplankton blooms during two mesocosm experiments. In a Marine Aerosol Reference Tank (MART) experiment, a phytoplankton bloom was produced with chlorophyll-a (Chl a) concentrations reaching 39 μg L−1, while Chl a concentrations more representative of natural ocean conditions were obtained during the Investigation into Marine Particle Chemistry and Transfer Science (IMPACTS; peak Chl a of 5 μg L−1) campaign, conducted in the University of California, San Diego, wave flume. Dynamic trends in INP emissions occurred for INPs active at temperatures > −30°C. Increases in INPs active between −25° and −15°C lagged the peak in Chl a in both studies, suggesting a consistent population of INPs associated with the collapse of phytoplankton blooms. Trends in INP emissions were also compared to aerosol composition, abundances of microbes, and enzyme activity. In general, increases in INP concentrations corresponded to increases in organic species in SSA and the emissions of heterotrophic bacteria, suggesting that both microbes and biomolecules contribute to marine INP populations. INP trends were not directly correlated with a single biological marker in either study. Direct measurements of INP chemistry are needed to accurately identify particles types contributing to marine INP populations.

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