The influence of radiatively active water ice clouds on the Martian climate
Article first published online: 12 DEC 2012
©2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 39, Issue 23, 16 December 2012
How to Cite
2012), The influence of radiatively active water ice clouds on the Martian climate, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L23202, doi:10.1029/2012GL053564., , , , and (
- Issue published online: 12 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 12 DEC 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 24 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Received: 13 AUG 2012
- cloud feedbacks;
- global climate models;
- water ice clouds
 Radiatively active water ice clouds (RAC) play a key role in shaping the thermal structure of the Martian atmosphere. In this paper, RAC are implemented in the LMD Mars Global Climate Model (GCM) and the simulated temperatures are compared to Thermal Emission Spectrometer observations over a full year. RAC change the temperature gradients and global dynamics of the atmosphere and this change in dynamics in turn implies large-scale adiabatic temperature changes. Therefore, clouds have both a direct and indirect effect on atmospheric temperatures. RAC successfully reduce major GCM temperature biases, especially in the regions of formation of the aphelion cloud belt where a cold bias of more than 10 K is corrected. Departures from the observations are however seen in the polar regions, and highlight the need for better modeling of cloud formation and evolution.