12 Mar 2024
 | 12 Mar 2024

WRF-SBM Numerical Simulation of Aerosol Effects on Stratiform Warm Clouds in Jiangxi, China

Yi Li, Xiaoli Liu, and Hengjia Cai

Abstract. Aerosols, as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), impact cloud droplet spectrum and dispersion (ε), affecting precipitation and climate change. However, the influence of various aerosol modes on cloud physics remains controversial, and this effect varies with location and cloud type. This study uses a bin microphysics scheme (WRF-SBM) to simulate a warm stratiform cloud in Jiangxi, China. The numerical simulations reproduce the macro and microstructure of warm clouds compared with aircraft observations. Further experiments modifying the aerosol spectrum and number concentration indicate: increased aerosol concentration promotes cloud formation, raises cloud height, and broadens the cloud droplet spectrum. In contrast, a decrease in aerosol concentration suppresses cloud formation and development. Different aerosols have varying effects on the cloud droplet spectrum. Higher accumulation mode aerosol concentration increases small droplet concentration, while increased nucleation and coarse mode aerosol concentration favors larger droplet formation. Generally, the correlation between ε and volume-weighted particle size (rv) changes from positive to negative as rv increases. The transition in correlation is influenced by the relative strengths of cloud droplet collision, condensation, and activation processes. The increase in accumulation mode aerosol concentration strengthens the positive correlation between ε and rv in the rv range of 4.5–8 μm, while the decrease in concentration strengthens the negative correlation in the same range. Regardless of different coalescence intensity, ε converges with the increase in Nc. Changes in aerosol concentration for different modes do not alter the convergence trend of ε-Nc but only affect the dispersion of ε at low Nc levels.

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Yi Li, Xiaoli Liu, and Hengjia Cai

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2644', Mónica Zamora Zapata, 30 Mar 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC1', Yi Li, 03 Jun 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-2644', Anonymous Referee #1, 06 Apr 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC2', Yi Li, 03 Jun 2024
Yi Li, Xiaoli Liu, and Hengjia Cai

Data sets

Satellite, Aerosol, and Numerical Simulation Dataset in Jiangxi, China Yi Li, Xiaoli Liu, and Hengjia Cai

Yi Li, Xiaoli Liu, and Hengjia Cai


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Short summary
Different aerosol modes' influence on cloud processes remains controversial. As a result, we modified the aerosol spectrum and concentration to simulated a warm stratiform cloud process in Jiangxi, China by WRF-SBM scheme. Research shows that: different aerosol spectra have diverse effects on cloud droplet spectra, cloud development, and correlation between dispersion (ε) and cloud physics quantities. Compared to cloud droplet concentration, ε is more sensitive to the volume radius.