24 Jan 2022
24 Jan 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Impact of Holuhraun volcano aerosols on clouds in cloud-system resolving simulations

Mahnoosh Haghighatnasab, Jan Kretzschmar, Karoline Block, and Johannes Quaas Mahnoosh Haghighatnasab et al.
  • Institute for Meteorology, Universität Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

Abstract. Increased anthropogenic aerosols result in an enhancement in cloud droplet number concentration (Nd), which consequently modifies the cloud and precipitation process. It is unclear how exactly cloud liquid water path (LWP) and cloud fraction respond to aerosol perturbations. A volcanic eruption may help to better understand and quantify the cloud response to external perturbations, with a focus on the short-term cloud adjustments. The goal of the present study is to understand and quantify the response of clouds to a selected volcanic eruption and to thereby advance the fundamental understanding of the cloud response to external forcing. In this study we used the ICON (ICOsahedral Non-hydrostatic) model in its numerical weather prediction setup at a cloud-system-resolving resolution of 2.5 km horizontally, to simulate the region around the Holuhraun volcano for one week (1–7 September 2014). A pair of simulations, with and without the volcanic aerosol plume, allowed us to assess the simulated effective radiative forcing and its mechanisms, as well as its impact on adjustments of LWP and cloud fraction to the perturbations of Nd. In comparison to MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) satellite retrievals, a clear enhancement of Nd due to the volcanic aerosol is detected and attributed. In contrast, no changes in either LWP or cloud fraction could be attributed. The on average almost unchanged LWP is a result of some LWP enhancement for thick, and a decrease for thin clouds.

Mahnoosh Haghighatnasab et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-38', Anonymous Referee #1, 15 Feb 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Mahnoosh Haghighatnasab, 14 Apr 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-38', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Feb 2022
    • RC3: 'Reply on RC2', Anonymous Referee #2, 21 Feb 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Mahnoosh Haghighatnasab, 14 Apr 2022

Mahnoosh Haghighatnasab et al.

Mahnoosh Haghighatnasab et al.


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Short summary
The impact of aerosols emitted by the Holuhraun volcanic eruption on liquid clouds was assessed from a pair of cloud-system resolving simulations along with satellite retrievals. Inside and outside the plume were compared in terms of their statistical distributions. Analyses indicated enhancement for cloud droplet number concentration inside the volcano plume in model simulations and satellite retrievals while there was on average a small effect on both liquid water path and cloud fraction.