Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-385
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-385
 
13 Jun 2022
13 Jun 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Impacts of an aerosol layer on a mid-latitude continental system of cumulus clouds: how do these impacts depend on the vertical location of the aerosol layer?

Seoung Soo Lee1,2, Junshik Um3,4, Won Jun Choi5, Kyung-Ja Ha2,4,6, Chang Hoon Jung7, Jianping Guo8, and Youtong Zheng9 Seoung Soo Lee et al.
  • 1Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland, Maryland, USA
  • 2Research Center for Climate Sciences, Pusan National University, Busan, Republic of Korea
  • 3Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Pusan National University, Busan, Republic of Korea
  • 4BK21 School of Earth and Environmental Systems, Pusan National University, Busan, Republic of Korea
  • 5National Institute of Environmental Research, Incheon, Republic of Korea
  • 6Center for Climate Physics, Institute for Basic Science, Busan, Republic of Korea
  • 7Department of Health Management, Kyungin Women’s University, Incheon, Republic of Korea
  • 8State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 9The Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Abstract. Using the large-eddy simulation framework, effects of an aerosol layer on warm cumulus clouds in the Korean Peninsula when the layer is above or around the cloud tops in the upper atmosphere are examined. Also, these effects are compared to effects of an aerosol layer when it is around or below the cloud bases in the low atmosphere. Simulations show that when the aerosol layer is in the low atmosphere, aerosols absorb solar radiation and radiatively heat up air enough to induce greater instability, stronger updrafts and more cloud mass than when the layer is in the upper atmosphere. As aerosol concentrations in the layer decrease, the aerosol radiative heating gets weaker to lead to less instability, weaker updrafts and less cloud mass when the layer is in the low atmosphere. This in turn makes differences in cloud mass, which are between a situation when the layer is in the low atmosphere and that when the layer is in the upper atmosphere, smaller. It is found that the transportation of aerosols by updrafts reduces aerosol concentrations in the aerosol layer, which is in the low atmosphere, and in turn reduces the aerosol radiative heating, updraft intensity and cloud mass. It is also found that the presence of aerosol impacts on radiation suppresses updrafts and reduces clouds. Aerosols affect not only radiation but also aerosol activation. In the absence of aerosol impacts on radiation, aerosol impacts on the droplet nucleation increases cloud mass when the layer is in the low atmosphere as compared to a situation when the layer is in the upper atmosphere. As aerosol impacts on radiation team up with those on the droplet nucleation, differences in cloud mass, which are between a situation when the layer in the low atmosphere and that when the layer is in the upper atmosphere, get larger. This is as compared to a situation when there is no aerosol impacts on radiation and only aerosol impacts on the droplet nucleation.

Seoung Soo Lee 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-2022-385', Anonymous Referee #1, 29 Jul 2022
  • RC2: 'Review of acp-2022-385', Anonymous Referee #2, 03 Aug 2022

Seoung Soo Lee et al.

Seoung Soo Lee et al.

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Short summary
This paper elaborates on process-level mechanisms how the interception of radiation by aerosols interacts with the surface heat fluxes and atmospheric instability in warm cumulus clouds. This paper elucidates how these mechanisms vary with the relative location of an aerosol layer to a layer of warm cumulus clouds. This elucidation indicates that the relative location of aerosol layers should be taken into account for parameterizations of aerosol-cloud interactions.
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