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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-649
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
04 Aug 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
The aerosol-cyclone indirect effect in observations and high-resolution simulations
Daniel T. McCoy1, Paul R. Field1,2, Anja Schmidt1, Daniel P. Grosvenor1, Frida A.-M. Bender3, Ben J. Shipway2, Adrian A. Hill2, and Jonathan M. Wilkinson2 1University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
2Met Office, Fitzroy Rd, Exeter EX1 3PB, UK
3University of Stockholm, Svante Arrhenius Väg 16C, Sweden
Abstract. Aerosol-cloud interactions are a major source of uncertainty in predicting 21st century climate change. Using high-resolution, convection-permitting global simulations we predict that increased cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) interacting with midlatitude cyclones will increase their cloud droplet number concentration (CDNC), liquid water (CLWP), and albedo. For the first time this effect is shown with 13 years of satellite observations. Causality between enhanced CCN and enhanced cyclone liquid content is supported by the 2014 eruption of Holuhraun. The change in midlatitude cyclone albedo due to enhanced CCN in a surrogate climate model is around 70 % of the change in a high-resolution convection-permitting model, indicating that climate models may underestimate this indirect effect.

Citation: McCoy, D. T., Field, P. R., Schmidt, A., Grosvenor, D. P., Bender, F. A.-M., Shipway, B. J., Hill, A. A., and Wilkinson, J. M.: The aerosol-cyclone indirect effect in observations and high-resolution simulations, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-649, in review, 2017.
Daniel T. McCoy et al.
Daniel T. McCoy et al.
Daniel T. McCoy et al.

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Short summary
Here we use a combination of global convection-permitting models, satellite observations and the Holuhraun volcanic eruption to demonstrate, robustly and for the first time, that aerosol enhances midlatitude cloud liquid content as well as brightness. This is important because the precise strength of anthropogenic radiative forcing is uncertain, leading to uncertainty in the climate sensitivity consistent with observed temperature changes and the severity of 21st century climate change.
Here we use a combination of global convection-permitting models, satellite observations and the...
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