A Parameterization of Warm Clouds for Use in Atmospheric General Circulation Models

K. N. Bower Department of Pure and Applied Physics, UMIST, Manchester, United Kingdom

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T. W. Choularton Department of Pure and Applied Physics, UMIST, Manchester, United Kingdom

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J. Latham Department of Pure and Applied Physics, UMIST, Manchester, United Kingdom

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J. Nelson Department of Geophysics, University of Washington. Seattle, Washington

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M. B. Baker Department of Geophysics, University of Washington. Seattle, Washington

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J. Jensen Division of Atmospheric Research, CSIRO, Mordialloc, Victoria, Australia

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Abstract

Simple parameterizations of droplet effective radius in stratiform and convective clouds are presented for use in global climate models. Datasets from subtropical marine stratocumulus, continental and maritime convective clouds, and hill cap clouds in middle latitudes and a small amount of data from stratocumulus clouds in middle latitudes have been examined. The results suggest strongly that a simple relationship exists between droplet effective radius and liquid water content in layer clouds with the droplet effective radius proportional to the cube root of the liquid water content. The constant of proportionality is different over oceans and continents. In current global climate models liquid water content is not a predicted variable in convective clouds, and the data strongly suggest that a fixed value of droplet effective radius between 9 and 10 μm should be used for continental clouds more than 500 m deep and 16 μm for maritime cumulus more than 1.5 km deep.

Abstract

Simple parameterizations of droplet effective radius in stratiform and convective clouds are presented for use in global climate models. Datasets from subtropical marine stratocumulus, continental and maritime convective clouds, and hill cap clouds in middle latitudes and a small amount of data from stratocumulus clouds in middle latitudes have been examined. The results suggest strongly that a simple relationship exists between droplet effective radius and liquid water content in layer clouds with the droplet effective radius proportional to the cube root of the liquid water content. The constant of proportionality is different over oceans and continents. In current global climate models liquid water content is not a predicted variable in convective clouds, and the data strongly suggest that a fixed value of droplet effective radius between 9 and 10 μm should be used for continental clouds more than 500 m deep and 16 μm for maritime cumulus more than 1.5 km deep.

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