Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-542
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-542

  07 Jul 2021

07 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

What rainfall rates are most important to wet removal of different aerosol types?

Yong Wang1, Wenwen Xia1, and Guang J. Zhang2 Yong Wang et al.
  • 1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling & Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084 China
  • 2Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA, USA

Abstract. Both frequency and intensity of rainfall affect aerosol wet deposition. With a stochastic deep convection scheme implemented into two state-of-the-art global climate models (GCMs), a recent study found that aerosol burdens are increased globally by reduced climatological mean wet removal of aerosols due to suppressed light rain. Motivated by their work, a novel approach is developed in this study to detect what rainfall rates are most efficient for wet removal (scavenging amount mode) of different aerosol species in different sizes in GCMs and applied to the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Atmosphere Model version 5 (CAM5) with and without the stochastic convection cases. Results show that in the standard CAM5, no obvious differences in the scavenging amount mode are found among different aerosol types. However, the scavenging amount modes differ in the Aitken, accumulation and coarse modes showing around 10-12, 8-9, and 7-8 mm d−1, respectively over the tropics. As latitude increases poleward, the scavenging amount mode in each aerosol mode is decreased substantially. The scavenging amount mode is generally smaller over land than over ocean. With stochastic convection, the scavenging amount mode for all aerosol species in each mode is systematically increased, which is the most prominent along the Intertropical Convergence Zone exceeding 20 mm d−1 for small particles. Regardless of whether the stochastic convection scheme is used, convective precipitation has higher efficiency in removing aerosols than large-scale precipitation over the globe even though convection is infrequent over high-latitudes. The scavenging amount modes in the two cases are both smaller than individual rainfall rates associated with the most accumulated rain (rainfall amount mode), further implying precipitation frequency is more important than precipitation intensity for aerosol wet removal. The notion of the scavenging amount mode can be applied to other GCMs to better understand the relation between rainfall and aerosol wet scavenging, which is important to better simulating aerosols.

Yong Wang et al.

Status: open (until 18 Aug 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-542', Anonymous Referee #1, 28 Jul 2021 reply

Yong Wang et al.

Yong Wang et al.

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Short summary
This study developed a novel approach to detect what rainfall rates climatologically are most efficient for wet removal of different aerosol types and applied it to a global climate model (GCM). Results show that light rain has a disproportionate control on aerosol wet scavenging with distinct rain rates for different aerosol sizes. The approach can be applied to other GCMs to better understand the aerosol wet scavenging by rainfall, which is important to better simulating aerosols.
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