Impacts of Varying Concentrations of Cloud Condensation Nuclei on Deep...

Marinescu, P. J., S. van den Heever, M. Heikenfeld, A. I. Barrett, C. Barthlott, C. Hoose, J. Fan, A. M. Fridlind, T. Matsui, A. K. Miltenberger, Philip Stier, B. Vie, B. A. White, and Y. Zhang (2021), Impacts of Varying Concentrations of Cloud Condensation Nuclei on Deep Convective Cloud Updrafts—A Multimodel Assessment, J. Atmos. Sci., 78, 1147-1172, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-20-0200.1.

This study presents results from a model intercomparison project, focusing on the range of responses in deep convective cloud updrafts to varying cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations among seven state-of-the-art cloudresolving models. Simulations of scattered convective clouds near Houston, Texas, are conducted, after being initialized with both relatively low and high CCN concentrations. Deep convective updrafts are identified, and trends in the updraft intensity and frequency are assessed. The factors contributing to the vertical velocity tendencies are examined to identify the physical processes associated with the CCN-induced updraft changes. The models show several consistent trends. In general, the changes between the High-CCN and Low-CCN simulations in updraft magnitudes throughout the depth of the troposphere are within 15% for all of the models. All models produce stronger (;15%–15%) mean updrafts from ;4–7 km above ground level (AGL) in the High-CCN simulations, followed by a waning response up to ;8 km AGL in most of the models. Thermal buoyancy was more sensitive than condensate loading to varying CCN concentrations in most of the models and more impactful in the mean updraft responses. However, there are also differences between the models. The change in the amount of deep convective updrafts varies significantly. Furthermore, approximately half the models demonstrate neutral-to-weaker (;25% to 0%) updrafts above ;8 km AGL, while the other models show stronger (;110%) updrafts in the High-CCN simulations. The combination of the CCN-induced impacts on the buoyancy and vertical perturbation pressure gradient terms better explains these middle- and upper-tropospheric updraft trends than the buoyancy terms alone.

PDF of Publication: 
Download from publisher's website.