Cloud-Resolving Model Simulations of Aerosol-Cloud Interactions Triggered by Strong Aerosol Emissions in the Arctic

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 8:30 AM
Hailong Wang1, Ben Kravitz1, Philip J Rasch1, Hugh Morrison2 and Amy Solomon3, (1)Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, United States, (2)National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States, (3)University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO, United States
Previous process-oriented modeling studies have highlighted the dependence of effectiveness of cloud brightening by aerosols on cloud regimes in warm marine boundary layer. Cloud microphysical processes in clouds that contain ice, and hence the mechanisms that drive aerosol-cloud interactions, are more complicated than in warm clouds. Interactions between ice particles and liquid drops add additional levels of complexity to aerosol effects. A cloud-resolving model is used to study aerosol-cloud interactions in the Arctic triggered by strong aerosol emissions, through either geoengineering injection or concentrated sources such as shipping and fires. An updated cloud microphysical scheme with prognostic aerosol and cloud particle numbers is employed. Model simulations are performed in pure super-cooled liquid and mixed-phase clouds, separately, with or without an injection of aerosols into either a clean or a more polluted Arctic boundary layer. Vertical mixing and cloud scavenging of particles injected from the surface is still quite efficient in the less turbulent cold environment. Overall, the injection of aerosols into the Arctic boundary layer can delay the collapse of the boundary layer and increase low-cloud albedo. The pure liquid clouds are more susceptible to the increase in aerosol number concentration than the mixed-phase clouds. Rain production processes are more effectively suppressed by aerosol injection, whereas ice precipitation (snow) is affected less; thus the effectiveness of brightening mixed-phase clouds is lower than for liquid-only clouds. Aerosol injection into a clean boundary layer results in a greater cloud albedo increase than injection into a polluted one, consistent with current knowledge about aerosol-cloud interactions. Unlike previous studies investigating warm clouds, the impact of dynamical feedback due to precipitation changes is small. According to these results, which are dependent upon the representation of ice nucleation processes in the employed microphysical scheme, Arctic geoengineering/shipping could have substantial local radiative effects, but is unlikely to be effective as the sole means of counterbalancing warming due to climate change.