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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-813
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-813
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 28 Oct 2019

Submitted as: research article | 28 Oct 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Atmospheric energy budget response to idealized aerosol perturbation in tropical cloud systems

Guy Dagan1, Philip Stier1, Matthew Christensen1, Guido Cioni2,3, Daniel Klocke3,4, and Axel Seifert4 Guy Dagan et al.
  • 1Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, UK
  • 2Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
  • 3Hans Ertel Center for Weather Research, Offenbach am Main, Germany
  • 4Deutscher Wetterdienst, Offenbach am Main, Germany

Abstract. The atmospheric energy budget is analysed in numerical simulations of tropical cloud systems. This is done in order to better understand the physical processes behind aerosol effects on the atmospheric energy budget. The simulations include both shallow convective clouds and deep convective tropical clouds over the Atlantic Ocean. Two different sets of simulations, at different dates (10–12/8/2016 and 16–18/8/2016), are being simulated with different dominant cloud modes (shallow or deep). For each case, the cloud droplet number concentrations (CDNC) is varied as a proxy for changes in aerosol concentrations. It is shown that the total column atmospheric radiative cooling is substantially reduced with CDNC in the deep-cloud dominated case (by ~ 10.0 W/m2), while a much smaller reduction (~ 1.6 W/m2) is shown in the shallow-cloud dominated case. This trend is caused by an increase in the ice and water vapor content at the upper troposphere that leads to a reduced outgoing longwave radiation. A decrease in sensible heat flux (driven by increase in the near surface air temperature) reduces the warming by ~ 1.4 W/m2 in both cases. It is also shown that the cloud fraction response behaves in opposite ways to an increase in CDNC, showing an increase in the deep-cloud dominated case and a decrease in the shallow-cloud dominated case. This demonstrates that under different environmental conditions the response to aerosol perturbation could be different.

Guy Dagan et al.
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Short summary
In order to better understand the physical processes behind aerosol effects on the atmospheric energy budget we analyse numerical simulations of tropical cloud systems. Two sets of simulations, at different dates during the NARVAL 2 field campaign, are being simulated with different dominant cloud modes. Our results demonstrate that under different environmental conditions the response of the atmospheric energy budget to aerosol perturbation could be different.
In order to better understand the physical processes behind aerosol effects on the atmospheric...
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