1The Earth Institute at Columbia University and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, USA
2Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York, USA
3School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
4Global Research Center, National Institute of Environmental Research, Kyungseo-dong Seo-gu, Incheon, Korea
5Sigma Space Partners (SSP) and NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, USA
Abstract. A new aerosol microphysical module MATRIX, the Multiconfiguation Aerosol TRacker of mIXing state, and its application in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) climate model (ModelE) is described. This module, which is based on the quadrature method of moments (QMOM), represents nucleation, condensation, coagulation, internal and external mixing, and cloud-drop activation and provides aerosol particle mass and number concentration and particle size information for up to 16 mixed-mode aerosol populations. Internal and external mixing among aerosol components sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, carbonaceous aerosols, dust and sea-salt particles are represented. The solubility of each aerosol mode, which is explicitly calculated based on its soluble and insoluble components, enables calculation of the dependence of cloud drop activation on the microphysical characterization of multiple soluble modes. A detailed model description and results of box-model simulations of various mode configurations are presented. The number concentration of aerosol particles activated to cloud drops depends on the mode configuration. Simulations on the global scale with the GISS climate model are evaluated against aircraft and station measurements of aerosol mass and number concentration and particle size. The model accurately captures the observed size distributions in the aitken and accumulation modes up to particle diameter 1 μm, in which sulfate, nitrate, black and organic carbon are predominantly located; however the model underestimates coarse-mode number concentration and size, especially in the marine environment.