Evaluation of clouds in ACCESS using the satellite simulator package COSP: Global, seasonal, and regional cloud properties

Authors

  • Charmaine N. Franklin,

    Corresponding author
    1. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Victoria, Australia
    2. Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research–A partnership between CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    • Corresponding author: C. Franklin, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Private Bag 1, Aspendale, Vic 3195, Australia. (charmaine.franklin@csiro.au)

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  • Zhian Sun,

    1. Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research–A partnership between CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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  • Daohua Bi,

    1. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Victoria, Australia
    2. Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research–A partnership between CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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  • Martin Dix,

    1. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Victoria, Australia
    2. Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research–A partnership between CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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  • Hailin Yan,

    1. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Aspendale, Victoria, Australia
    2. Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research–A partnership between CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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  • Alejandro Bodas-Salcedo

    1. Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, UK
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Abstract

[1] Cloud properties from the Australian Community Climate and Earth System Simulator (ACCESS1.3) are evaluated using the Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project (CFMIP) Observational Simulator Package (COSP). CloudSat, CALIPSO, and International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) observations are used to evaluate the modeled cloud cover, condensate properties, and cloud optical depths for two seasons. The global distribution of cloud in the model is generally well represented with maximum high cloud in the tropics and low cloud over the eastern edges of the ocean basins. The model captures the observed position of the midlatitude storm track clouds and the modeled cloud top heights compare well with the observations in the upper troposphere. However, there is a lack of modeled midlevel cloud in the tropics and midlatitudes. The average high cloud cover in the Tropical Warm Pool region shows good agreement with CALIPSO. However, the modeled radar reflectivities and lidar scattering ratios are biased toward lower values, suggesting that the ice water contents and particles sizes of these clouds in the model are too small. Over the Southern Ocean the modeled cloud cover is underestimated due to a lack of mid- and low-level cloud. The low clouds over the Southern Ocean and the California stratocumulus clouds in the model have too little condensate and optical thickness and too much rain and drizzle. A sensitivity experiment showed that reducing the ice fall speeds improves aspects of the modeled cloud properties by increasing the frequency of occurrence of high clouds with large scattering ratios and optically thick low clouds. ACCESS1.3 has a reasonable representation of cloud. However, the underestimate of ice water content and particles sizes in high clouds and the too frequent occurrence of drizzle may impact the modeled cloud feedbacks and regional precipitation associated with current and perturbed climates.

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