Interactions between aerosol absorption, thermodynamics, dynamics, and microphysics and their impacts on a multiple-cloud system

Seoung Soo Lee, Zhanqing Li, Jungbin Mok, Myoung Hwan Ahn, Byung Gon Kim, Yong Sang Choi, Chang Hoon Jung, Hye Lim Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates how the increasing concentration of black carbon aerosols, which act as radiation absorbers as well as agents for the cloud-particle nucleation, affects stability, dynamics and microphysics in a multiple-cloud system using simulations. Simulations show that despite increases in stability due to increasing concentrations of black carbon aerosols, there are increases in the averaged updraft mass fluxes (over the whole simulation domain and period). This is because aerosol-enhanced evaporative cooling intensifies convergence near the surface. This increase in the intensity of convergence induces an increase in the frequency of updrafts with the low range of speeds, leading to the increase in the averaged updraft mass fluxes. The increase in the frequency of updrafts induces that in the number of condensation entities and this leads to more condensation and cloud liquid that acts to be a source of the accretion of cloud liquid by precipitation. Hence, eventually, there is more accretion that offsets suppressed autoconversion, which results in negligible changes in cumulative precipitation as aerosol concentrations increase. The increase in the frequency of updrafts with the low range of speeds alters the cloud-system organization (represented by cloud-depth spatiotemporal distributions and cloud-cell population) by supporting more low-depth clouds. The altered organization in turn alters precipitation spatiotemporal distributions by generating more weak precipitation events. Aerosol-induced reduction in solar radiation that reaches the surface induces more occurrences of small-value surface heat fluxes, which in turn supports the more low-depth clouds and weak precipitation together with the greater occurrence of low-speed updrafts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3905-3921
Number of pages17
JournalClimate Dynamics
Volume49
Issue number11-12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (grants AGS1118325 and AGS1534670), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (grant NOAA-NWS-NWSPO-2015-2004117), Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute funded by the Korea Ministry of Environment as “Climate Change Correspondence Program”, and NIER2016-29: Extension of GEMS Product.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Keywords

  • Aerosol
  • Evaporation
  • Gust front
  • Mesoscale convective system
  • Stability

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