Journal article

Monte Carlo-based subgrid parameterization of vertical velocity and stratiform cloud microphysics in ECHAM5.5-HAM2

Tonttila J, Räisänen P, Järvinen H ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 13, issue 15 (2013) pp. 7551-7565 Published by Copernicus GmbH

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Abstract

A new method for parameterizing the subgrid variations of vertical velocity and cloud droplet number concentration (CDNC) is presented for general circulation models (GCMs). These parameterizations build on top of existing parameterizations that create stochastic subgrid cloud columns inside the GCM grid cells, which can be employed by the Monte Carlo independent column approximation approach for radiative transfer. The new model version adds a description for vertical velocity in individual subgrid columns, which can be used to compute cloud activation and the subgrid distribution of the number of cloud droplets explicitly. Autoconversion is also treated explicitly in the subcolumn space. This provides a consistent way of simulating the cloud radiative effects with two-moment cloud microphysical properties defined at subgrid scale. The primary impact of the new parameterizations is to decrease the CDNC over polluted continents, while over the oceans the impact is smaller. Moreover, the lower CDNC induces a stronger autoconversion of cloud water to rain. The strongest reduction in CDNC and cloud water content over the continental areas promotes weaker shortwave cloud radiative effects (SW CREs) even after retuning the model. However, compared to the reference simulation, a slightly stronger SW CRE is seen e.g. over mid-latitude oceans, where CDNC remains similar to the reference simulation, and the in-cloud liquid water content is slightly increased after retuning the model.

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Authors

  • J. Tonttila

  • P. Räisänen

  • H. Järvinen

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