14 Feb 2023
 | 14 Feb 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

How Does Cloud-Radiative Heating over the North Atlantic Change with Grid Spacing, Convective Parameterization, and Microphysics Scheme?

Sylvia Sullivan, Behrooz Keshtgar, Nicole Albern, Elzina Bala, Christoph Braun, Anubhav Choudhary, Johannes Hörner, Hilke Lentink, Georgios Papavasileiou, and Aiko Voigt

Abstract. Cloud-radiative heating (CRH) within the atmosphere and its changes with warming affect the large-scale atmospheric wind patterns in a myriad of ways, such that reliable predictions and projections of circulation require reliable calculations of CRH. In order to assess sensitivities of upper-tropospheric midlatitude CRH to model settings, we perform a series of simulations with the Icosahedral Nonhydrostatic Model (ICON) over the North Atlantic using six different grid spacings, parameterized and explicit convection, and one- versus two-moment cloud microphysics. While sensitivity to grid spacing is limited, CRH profiles change dramatically with microphysics and convection schemes. These dependencies are interpreted via decomposition into cloud classes and examination of cloud properties and cloud-controlling factors within these different classes. We trace the model dependencies back to differences in the mass mixing ratios and number concentrations of cloud ice and snow, as well as vertical velocities. Which frozen species are radiatively active and the coupling of microphysics and convection schemes turn out to be crucial factors in altering the modeled CRH profiles.

Sylvia Sullivan et al.

Status: open (until 25 Apr 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Reviewer comment on egusphere-2023-109', Anonymous Referee #1, 22 Feb 2023 reply
  • CEC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-109', Astrid Kerkweg, 14 Mar 2023 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-109', Anonymous Referee #2, 22 Mar 2023 reply

Sylvia Sullivan et al.

Data sets

Model Dependencies of Cloud-Radiative Heating over the North Atlantic [postprocessed dataset] Sylvia Sullivan, Aiko Voigt, Nicole Albern, Elzina Bala, Christoph Braun, Anubhav Choudhary, Johannes Hörner, Behrooz Keshtgar, Hilke Lentink, and Georgios Papavasileiou

Sylvia Sullivan et al.


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Short summary
Clouds absorb and reemit infrared radiation from Earth's surface and absorb and reflect incoming solar radiation. As a result, they change atmospheric temperature gradients that drive large-scale circulation. To better simulate this circulation, we study how the radiative heating and cooling from clouds depends on model settings like grid spacing, whether we describe convection approximately or exactly, and the level of detail used to describe small-scale processes, or microphysics, in clouds.