Articles | Volume 22, issue 3
Research article
16 Feb 2022
Research article |  | 16 Feb 2022

Importance of aerosols and shape of the cloud droplet size distribution for convective clouds and precipitation

Christian Barthlott, Amirmahdi Zarboo, Takumi Matsunobu, and Christian Keil

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The impact of microphysical uncertainty conditional on initial and boundary condition uncertainty under varying synoptic control
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Impacts of combined microphysical and land-surface uncertainties on convective clouds and precipitation in different weather regimes
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Large impact of tiny model domain shifts for the Pentecost 2014 mesoscale convective system over Germany
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Subject: Clouds and Precipitation | Research Activity: Atmospheric Modelling | Altitude Range: Troposphere | Science Focus: Physics (physical properties and processes)
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Cited articles

Albrecht, B. A.: Aerosols, cloud microphysics, and fractional cloudiness, Science, 245, 1227–1230, 1989. a
Altaratz, O., Koren, I., Reisin, T., Kostinski, A., Feingold, G., Levin, Z., and Yin, Y.: Aerosols' influence on the interplay between condensation, evaporation and rain in warm cumulus cloud, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 15–24,, 2008. a
Altaratz, O., Koren, I., Remer, L., and Hirsch, E.: Review: Cloud invigoration by aerosols–Coupling between microphysics and dynamics, Atmos. Res., 140–141, 38–60,, 2014. a, b
Barthlott, C. and Barrett, A. I.: Large impact of tiny model domain shifts for the Pentecost 2014 mesoscale convective system over Germany, Weather Clim. Dynam., 1, 207–224,, 2020. a
Barthlott, C. and Hoose, C.: Aerosol effects on clouds and precipitation over central Europe in different weather regimes, J. Atmos. Sci., 75, 4247–4264,, 2018. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o
Short summary
The relative impact of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations and the shape parameter of the cloud droplet size distribution is evaluated in realistic convection-resolving simulations. We find that an increase in the shape parameter can produce almost as large a variation in precipitation as a CCN increase from maritime to polluted conditions. The choice of the shape parameter may be more important than previously thought for determining cloud radiative characteristics.
Final-revised paper