On the characteristics of aerosol indirect effect based on dynamic regimes in global climate models

Shipeng Zhang, Minghuai Wang, Steven J. Ghan, Aijun Ding, Hailong Wang, Kai Zhang, David Neubauer, Ulrike Lohmann, Sylvaine Ferrachat, Toshihiko Takeamura, Andrew Gettelman, Hugh Morrison, Yunha Lee, Drew T. Shindell, Daniel G. Partridge, Philip Stier, Zak Kipling, Congbin Fu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    33 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Aerosol-cloud interactions continue to constitute a major source of uncertainty for the estimate of climate radiative forcing. The variation of aerosol indirect effects (AIE) in climate models is investigated across different dynamical regimes, determined by monthly mean 500 hPa vertical pressure velocity (500), lower-tropospheric stability (LTS) and large-scale surface precipitation rate derived from several global climate models (GCMs), with a focus on liquid water path (LWP) response to cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations. The LWP sensitivity to aerosol perturbation within dynamic regimes is found to exhibit a large spread among these GCMs. It is in regimes of strong large-scale ascent (500g€¯ < g€¯g'25 hPa dayg'1) and low clouds (stratocumulus and trade wind cumulus) where the models differ most. Shortwave aerosol indirect forcing is also found to differ significantly among different regimes. Shortwave aerosol indirect forcing in ascending regimes is close to that in subsidence regimes, which indicates that regimes with strong large-scale ascent are as important as stratocumulus regimes in studying AIE. It is further shown that shortwave aerosol indirect forcing over regions with high monthly large-scale surface precipitation rate (> 0.1 mm dayg'1) contributes the most to the total aerosol indirect forcing (from 64 to nearly 100 %). Results show that the uncertainty in AIE is even larger within specific dynamical regimes compared to the uncertainty in its global mean values, pointing to the need to reduce the uncertainty in AIE in different dynamical regimes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2765-2783
    Number of pages19
    JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
    Volume16
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 4 2016

      Fingerprint

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Atmospheric Science

    Cite this