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Volume 15, issue 3
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 1503–1520, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-1503-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 15, 1503–1520, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-15-1503-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 11 Feb 2015

Research article | 11 Feb 2015

Effects of pre-existing ice crystals on cirrus clouds and comparison between different ice nucleation parameterizations with the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM5)

X. Shi1,2,3, X. Liu1, and K. Zhang4 X. Shi et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA
  • 2Hebei Key Laboratory for Meteorology and Eco-environment, Shijiazhuang, China
  • 3Hebei Climate Center, Shijiazhuang, China
  • 4Atmospheric Science and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA

Abstract. In order to improve the treatment of ice nucleation in a more realistic manner in the Community Atmosphere Model version 5.3 (CAM5.3), the effects of pre-existing ice crystals on ice nucleation in cirrus clouds are considered. In addition, by considering the in-cloud variability in ice saturation ratio, homogeneous nucleation takes place spatially only in a portion of the cirrus cloud rather than in the whole area of the cirrus cloud. Compared to observations, the ice number concentrations and the probability distributions of ice number concentration are both improved with the updated treatment. The pre-existing ice crystals significantly reduce ice number concentrations in cirrus clouds, especially at mid- to high latitudes in the upper troposphere (by a factor of ~10). Furthermore, the contribution of heterogeneous ice nucleation to cirrus ice crystal number increases considerably.

Besides the default ice nucleation parameterization of Liu and Penner (2005, hereafter LP) in CAM5.3, two other ice nucleation parameterizations of Barahona and Nenes (2009, hereafter BN) and Kärcher et al. (2006, hereafter KL) are implemented in CAM5.3 for the comparison. In-cloud ice crystal number concentration, percentage contribution from heterogeneous ice nucleation to total ice crystal number, and pre-existing ice effects simulated by the three ice nucleation parameterizations have similar patterns in the simulations with present-day aerosol emissions. However, the change (present-day minus pre-industrial times) in global annual mean column ice number concentration from the KL parameterization (3.24 × 106 m−2) is less than that from the LP (8.46 × 106 m−2) and BN (5.62 × 106 m−2) parameterizations. As a result, the experiment using the KL parameterization predicts a much smaller anthropogenic aerosol long-wave indirect forcing (0.24 W m−2) than that using the LP (0.46 W m−2) and BN (0.39 W m−2) parameterizations.

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The ice nucleation scheme in the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM5) was improved by considering the effects of pre-existing ice crystals and some other modifications. Subsequently, the comparison between different ice nucleation parameterizations is investigated. Experiment using the ice nucleation parameterization of Kärcher et al. (2006) predicts a much smaller anthropogenic aerosol indirect forcing than that using the parameterizations of Liu and Penner (2005) and Barahona and Nenes (2009).
The ice nucleation scheme in the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM5) was improved by considering...
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