Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/acp-2016-1092
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
24 Feb 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
A comparison of two chemistry and aerosol schemes on the regional scale and resulting impact on radiative properties and warm and cold aerosol-cloud interactions
Franziska Glassmeier1,a, Anna Possner1,b, Bernhard Vogel2, Heike Vogel2, and Ulrike Lohmann1 1Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
2Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, Germany
acurrent affiliation: Chemical Sciences Division, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, USA
bcurrent affiliation: Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, USA
Abstract. The complexity of the atmospheric aerosol causes large uncertainties in its parameterization in atmospheric models. In a process-based comparison of two aerosol and chemistry schemes within the regional atmospheric modeling framework COSMO-ART, we identify key sensitivities of aerosol parameterizations. We consider the aerosol module MADE in combination with full gas-phase chemistry and the aerosol module M7 in combination with a constant-oxidant-field-based sulfur cycle. For a Saharan dust outbreak reaching Europe, modeled aerosol populations are more sensitive to structural differences between the schemes, in particular the consideration of aqueous-phase sulfate production, the selection of aerosol species and modes and modal composition, than to parametric choices like modal standard deviation and the parameterization of aerosol dynamics. The same observation applies to aerosol optical depth (AOD) and the concentrations of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Differences in the concentrations of ice-nucleating particles (INP) are masked by uncertainties between two ice-nucleation parameterizations and their coupling to the aerosol scheme. Differences in cloud droplet and ice crystal number concentrations are buffered by cloud microphysics as we show in a susceptibility analysis.

Citation: Glassmeier, F., Possner, A., Vogel, B., Vogel, H., and Lohmann, U.: A comparison of two chemistry and aerosol schemes on the regional scale and resulting impact on radiative properties and warm and cold aerosol-cloud interactions, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-1092, in review, 2017.
Franziska Glassmeier et al.
Franziska Glassmeier et al.
Franziska Glassmeier et al.

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Short summary
The description of atmospheric aerosol in numerical models requires selection and simplification. We compare two chemistry and aerosol schemes, one designed for air-quality, the other for climate applications. For distribution, composition and radiative properties, the choice of aerosol types and processes turns out to be more important than their implementation. For aerosol-cloud interactions, we find cloud processes, in particular ice formation, to be the bottleneck to our understanding.
The description of atmospheric aerosol in numerical models requires selection and...
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