Articles | Volume 5, issue 10
20 Oct 2005
20 Oct 2005

A new convective cloud field model based on principles of self-organisation

F. J. Nober and H. F. Graf

Abstract. A new cumulus convection parameterisation is presented in this paper. The parameterisation uses an explicit spectral approach and determines, unlike other convection schemes, for each convection event a new cloud distribution function regarding to the given vertical temperature and humidity profiles. This is done by using a one dimensional cloud model to create a spectrum of different clouds. The interaction between all non convective physical processes in the AGCM and all different clouds is taken into account to calculate a selfconsistent cloud spectrum. The model has been implemented in the ECHAM5 AGCM and tested against a large eddy simulation model. The representation of a shallow cumulus cloud field by the AGCM could be much improved. Diurnal cycle, cloud cover, liquid water path and the vertical structure of the mass flux, determined by the new convection scheme are close to the large eddy simulation, whereas the standard convection scheme failed in simulating this convection episode.

Final-revised paper