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https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-248
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-248
15 Apr 2024
 | 15 Apr 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Recent improvements and maximum covariance analysis of aerosol and cloud properties in the EC-Earth3-AerChem model

Manu Anna Thomas, Klaus Wyser, Shiyu Wang, Marios Chatziparaschos, Paraskevi Georgakaki, Montserrat Costa-Surós, Maria Gonçalves Ageitos, Maria Kanakidou, Carlos Pérez García-Pando, Athanasios Nenes, Twan van Noije, Philippe Le Sager, and Abhay Devasthale

Abstract. Given the importance of aerosols, clouds and their interactions in the climate system, it is imperative that the global Earth system models accurately represent processes associated with them. This is an important prerequisite if we were to narrow the uncertainties in future climate projections. In practice, this means that the continuous model evaluations and improvements grounded in observations are necessary. Numerous studies in the last few decades have shown both the usability and the limitations of utilizing satellite-based observations in understanding and evaluating aerosol-cloud interactions, particularly under varying meteorological and satellite sensor sensitivity paradigms. Furthermore, the vast range of spatio-temporal scales at which aerosol and cloud processes occur adds another dimension to the challenges while evaluating climate models.

In this context, the aim of this study is two-fold. 1) We evaluate the most recent, significant changes in the representation of aerosol and cloud processes implemented in the EC-Earth3-AerChem model in the framework of the EU project FORCeS compared to its previous CMIP6 version. We focus particularly on evaluating cloud physical properties and radiative effects, wherever possible, using a satellite simulator. We report overall improvements in EC-Earth3-AerChem model. In particular, the strong warm bias chronically seen over the Southern Ocean is reduced significantly. 2) A statistical, maximum covariance analysis is carried out between aerosol optical depth (AOD) and cloud droplet (CD) effective radius based on the recent EC-Earth3-AerChem/FORCeS simulation to understand to what extent the Twomey effect can manifest itself in the larger spatio-temporal scales. We focus on the three oceanic low-level cloud regimes that are important due to their strong net cooling effect and where pollution outflow from the nearby continent is simultaneously pervasive. We report that the statistical covariability between AOD and CD effective radius is indeed dominantly visible even at the climate scale when the aerosol amount and composition are favourably preconditioned for allowing aerosol-cloud interactions. Despite this strong covariability, our analysis shows a strong cooling/warming in shortwave cloud radiative effects at the top of the atmosphere in our study regions associated with an increase/decrease in CD effective radius. And this cooling/warming can be attributed to the increase/decrease in low cloud fraction, in line with the previous observational studies.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Manu Anna Thomas, Klaus Wyser, Shiyu Wang, Marios Chatziparaschos, Paraskevi Georgakaki, Montserrat Costa-Surós, Maria Gonçalves Ageitos, Maria Kanakidou, Carlos Pérez García-Pando, Athanasios Nenes, Twan van Noije, Philippe Le Sager, and Abhay Devasthale

Status: open (until 10 Jun 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-248', Anonymous Referee #1, 06 May 2024 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2024-248', Anonymous Referee #2, 12 May 2024 reply
Manu Anna Thomas, Klaus Wyser, Shiyu Wang, Marios Chatziparaschos, Paraskevi Georgakaki, Montserrat Costa-Surós, Maria Gonçalves Ageitos, Maria Kanakidou, Carlos Pérez García-Pando, Athanasios Nenes, Twan van Noije, Philippe Le Sager, and Abhay Devasthale
Manu Anna Thomas, Klaus Wyser, Shiyu Wang, Marios Chatziparaschos, Paraskevi Georgakaki, Montserrat Costa-Surós, Maria Gonçalves Ageitos, Maria Kanakidou, Carlos Pérez García-Pando, Athanasios Nenes, Twan van Noije, Philippe Le Sager, and Abhay Devasthale

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Short summary
Aerosol-cloud interactions occur at a range of spatio-temporal scales. While evaluating recent developments in EC-Earth3-AerChem model, this study aims to understand the extent to which Twomey effect manifests itself at larger scales. We report a reduction in the warm bias over the Southern Ocean due to model improvements. While we do see footprints of Twomey effect at larger scales, the negative relationship between cloud droplet number and liquid water drives the shortwave radiative effect.