Articles | Volume 9, issue 19
07 Oct 2009
 | 07 Oct 2009

Analytical treatment of ice sublimation and test of sublimation parameterisations in two–moment ice microphysics models

K. Gierens and S. Bretl

Abstract. We derive an analytic solution to the spectral growth/sublimation equation for ice crystals and apply it to idealised cases. The results are used to test parameterisations of the ice sublimation process in two–moment bulk microphysics models. Although it turns out that the relation between number loss fraction and mass loss fraction is not a function since it is not unique, it seems that a functional parameterisation is the best that one can do in a bulk model. Testing a more realistic case with humidity oscillations shows that artificial crystal loss can occur in simulations of mature cirrus clouds with relative humidity fluctuating about ice saturation.

Final-revised paper