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A microphysical parameterization for convective clouds in the ECHAM5 climate model: Single-column model results evaluated at the Oklahoma Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program site

Authors

  • Junhua Zhang,

    1. Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    2. Now at Modelling and Integration Division (ARQI), Air Quality Research Branch, Meteorological Service of Canada, Downsview, Ontario, Canada.
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  • Ulrike Lohmann,

    1. Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    2. Now at Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland.
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  • Philip Stier

    1. Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany
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Abstract

[1] The microphysical parameterization used for stratiform clouds in the ECHAM5 climate model is now extended for simulations of convective clouds. The performance of the newly implemented parameterization in simulating midlatitude continental summertime convective cloud systems is evaluated in this paper at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in Oklahoma using the single-column mode (SCM) of ECHAM5. Three ARM intensive operating periods (IOPs), including two summer ones and a late spring one, are used for the evaluation. Results show that the SCM simulated cloud cover fraction agrees well with observations. The SCM also captures most of the precipitation events. With the new microphysical parameterization, the model performs at least as well as with the original model setup in simulating almost all the fields examined in this study. Significant improvement is shown in the simulations of outgoing longwave radiation and net incoming solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere revealing the feasibility of the new parameterization. Sensitivity studies show that a 10-fold increase in cloud droplet number concentration significantly increases the simulated liquid water content. More interestingly, this increase in cloud droplet number leads to an increase in the total amount of precipitation in two of the three IOPs.

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