Effects of model resolution and parameterizations on the simulations of clouds, precipitation, and their interactions with aerosols

Seoung Soo Lee, Zhanqing Li, Yuwei Zhang, Hyelim Yoo, Seungbum Kim, Byung Gon Kim, Yong Sang Choi, Jungbin Mok, Junshik Um, Kyoung Ock Choi, Danhong Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates the roles played by model resolution and microphysics parameterizations in the well-known uncertainties or errors in simulations of clouds, precipitation, and their interactions with aerosols by the numerical weather prediction (NWP) models. For this investigation, we used cloud-system-resolving model (CSRM) simulations as benchmark simulations that adopt high-resolution and full-fledged microphysical processes. These simulations were evaluated against observations, and this evaluation demonstrated that the CSRM simulations can function as benchmark simulations. Comparisons between the CSRM simulations and the simulations at the coarse resolutions that are generally adopted by current NWP models indicate that the use of coarse resolutions as in the NWP models can lower not only updrafts and other cloud variables (e.g., cloud mass, condensation, deposition, and evaporation) but also their sensitivity to increasing aerosol concentration. The parameterization of the saturation process plays an important role in the sensitivity of cloud variables to aerosol concentrations. while the parameterization of the sedimentation process has a substantial impact on how cloud variables are distributed vertically. The variation in cloud variables with resolution is much greater than what happens with varying microphysics parameterizations, which suggests that the uncertainties in the NWP simulations are associated with resolution much more than microphysics parameterizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Jan 2018

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