Articles | Volume 19, issue 4
Research article
28 Feb 2019
Research article |  | 28 Feb 2019

Aerosol effects on deep convection: the propagation of aerosol perturbations through convective cloud microphysics

Max Heikenfeld, Bethan White, Laurent Labbouz, and Philip Stier

Related authors

tobac v1.5: Introducing Fast 3D Tracking, Splits and Mergers, and Other Enhancements for Identifying and Analysing Meteorological Phenomena
G. Alexander Sokolowsky, Sean W. Freeman, William K. Jones, Julia Kukulies, Fabian Senf, Peter J. Marinescu, Max Heikenfeld, Kelcy N. Brunner, Eric C. Bruning, Scott M. Collis, Robert C. Jackson, Gabrielle R. Leung, Nils Pfeifer, Bhupendra A. Raut, Stephen M. Saleeby, Philip Stier, and Susan C. van den Heever
EGUsphere,,, 2023
Short summary
tobac 1.2: towards a flexible framework for tracking and analysis of clouds in diverse datasets
Max Heikenfeld, Peter J. Marinescu, Matthew Christensen, Duncan Watson-Parris, Fabian Senf, Susan C. van den Heever, and Philip Stier
Geosci. Model Dev., 12, 4551–4570,,, 2019
Short summary
Simulating the thermal regime and thaw processes of ice-rich permafrost ground with the land-surface model CryoGrid 3
S. Westermann, M. Langer, J. Boike, M. Heikenfeld, M. Peter, B. Etzelmüller, and G. Krinner
Geosci. Model Dev., 9, 523–546,,, 2016
Short summary
Impact of model developments on present and future simulations of permafrost in a global land-surface model
S. E. Chadburn, E. J. Burke, R. L. H. Essery, J. Boike, M. Langer, M. Heikenfeld, P. M. Cox, and P. Friedlingstein
The Cryosphere, 9, 1505–1521,,, 2015
Short summary
An improved representation of physical permafrost dynamics in the JULES land-surface model
S. Chadburn, E. Burke, R. Essery, J. Boike, M. Langer, M. Heikenfeld, P. Cox, and P. Friedlingstein
Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 1493–1508,,, 2015
Short summary

Related subject area

Subject: Clouds and Precipitation | Research Activity: Atmospheric Modelling and Data Analysis | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Physics (physical properties and processes)
Contrail formation on ambient aerosol particles for aircraft with hydrogen combustion: a box model trajectory study
Andreas Bier, Simon Unterstrasser, Josef Zink, Dennis Hillenbrand, Tina Jurkat-Witschas, and Annemarie Lottermoser
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 24, 2319–2344,,, 2024
Short summary
Effects of intermittent aerosol forcing on the stratocumulus-to-cumulus transition
Prasanth Prabhakaran, Fabian Hoffmann, and Graham Feingold
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 24, 1919–1937,,, 2024
Short summary
Cloud properties and their projected changes in CMIP models with low to high climate sensitivity
Lisa Bock and Axel Lauer
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 24, 1587–1605,,, 2024
Short summary
Water isotopic characterisation of the cloud–circulation coupling in the North Atlantic trades – Part 2: The imprint of the atmospheric circulation at different scales
Leonie Villiger and Franziska Aemisegger
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 24, 957–976,,, 2024
Short summary
Impact of urban land use on mean and heavy rainfall during the Indian summer monsoon
Renaud Falga and Chien Wang
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 24, 631–647,,, 2024
Short summary

Cited articles

Allan, D., Caswell, T., Keim, N., and van der Wel, C.: Trackpy: Trackpy v0.3.2, Zenodo,, 2016. a, b
Altaratz, O., Koren, I., Remer, L. A., and Hirsch, E.: Review: Cloud Invigoration by Aerosols – Coupling between Microphysics and Dynamics, Atmos. Res., 140–141, 38–60,, 2014. a, b
Andreae, M. O., Rosenfeld, D., Artaxo, P., Costa, A. A., Frank, G. P., Longo, K. M., and Silva-Dias, M. A. F.: Smoking Rain Clouds over the Amazon, Science, 303, 1337–1342,, 2004. a
Ban, N., Schmidli, J., and Schär, C.: Evaluation of the Convection-Resolving Regional Climate Modeling Approach in Decade-Long Simulations, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 119, 7889–7907,, 2014. a
Berry, E. X. and Reinhardt, R. L.: An Analysis of Cloud Drop Growth by Collection Part II. Single Initial Distributions, J. Atmos. Sci., 31, 1825–1831,<1825:AAOCDG>2.0.CO;2, 1974. a
Short summary
Aerosols can affect the evolution of deep convective clouds by controlling the cloud droplet number concentration. We perform a detailed analysis of the pathways of such aerosol perturbations through the cloud microphysics in numerical model simulations. By focussing on individually tracked convective cells, we can reveal consistent changes to individual process rates, such as a lifting of freezing and riming, but also major differences between the three different microphysics schemes used.
Final-revised paper