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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-381
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-381
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  18 May 2020

18 May 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Precipitation response to Aerosol-Radiation and Aerosol-Cloud Interactions in Regional Climate Simulations over Europe

José María López-Romero1, Juan Pedro Montávez1, Sonia Jerez1, Raquel Lorente-Plazas1,2, Laura Palacios-Peña1, and Pedro Jiménez-Guerrero1,3 José María López-Romero et al.
  • 1Physics of the Earth, Regional Campus of International Excellence “Campus Mare Nostrum”, University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain
  • 2Department of Meteorology, Meteored, 30893, Murcia, Spain
  • 3Biomedical Research Institute of Murcia (IMIB-Arrixaca), 30120 Murcia, Spain

Abstract. The effect of aerosols on regional climate simulations presents large uncertainties due to their complex and non-linear interactions with a wide variety of factors, including aerosol-radiation (ARI) and aerosol-cloud (ACI) interactions. These interactions are strongly conditioned by the meteorological situation and the type of aerosol. Despite increasing, there is nowadays a very limited number of studies covering this topic from a regional and climatic perspective.

Hence, this contribution aims at quantifying the impacts on precipitation of the inclusion of ARI and ACI processes in regional climate simulations driven by ERA20C reanalysis. A series of regional climatic simulations (years 1991–2010) for the Euro-CORDEX domain have been conducted including ARI and ACI, establishing as reference a simulations where aerosols have not been included interactively (BASE).

The results show that the effects of ARI and ACI on mean spatially averaged precipitation are limited. However, a spatial redistribution of precipitation occurs when introducing the ARI and ACI processes in the model; as well as some changes in the intensity precipitation regimes. The main differences with respect to the base-case simulations occur in central Europe, where a decrease in precipitation is associated with a depletion in the number of rainy days and low clouds. This reduction in precipitation presents a strong correlation with the ratio PM2.5/PM10, since the decrease is specially intense during those events with high values of that ratio (pointing to high levels of anthropogenic aerosols) over the aforementioned area. The precipitation decrease occurs for all ranges of precipitation rates. On the other hand, the model produces an increase in precipitation over the western Mediterranean basin associated with an increase of clouds and rainy days when ACI are implemented. Here the change is caused by the high presence of PM10 (low PM2.5/PM10 ratios, pointing to natural aerosols). In this case, the higher amount of precipitation affects only to those days with low rates of precipitation. Finally, there are some disperse areas were the inclusion of aerosols leads to an increase in precipitation, specially for moderate and high precipitation rates.

José María López-Romero et al.

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José María López-Romero et al.

José María López-Romero et al.

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Short summary
The effect of aerosols on regional climate simulations presents large uncertainties due to their complex and non-linear interactions with a wide variety of factors, including aerosol-radiation and aerosol-cloud interactions. We show how these interactions are strongly conditioned by the meteorological situation and the type of aerosol. While natural aerosols tend to increase precipitation in some areas, anthropogenic aerosols decrease the number of rainy days in some pollutant regions.
The effect of aerosols on regional climate simulations presents large uncertainties due to their...
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