Correlatedk-Distribution Treatment of Cloud Optical Properties and Related Radiative Impact
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
A new scheme of water cloud optical properties is proposed for correlated k-distribution (CKD) models, in which the correlation in spectral distributions between the gaseous absorption coefficient and cloud optical properties is maintained. This is an extension of the CKD method from gas to cloud by dealing with the gas absorption coefficient and cloud optical properties in the same way. Compared to the results of line-by-line benchmark calculations, the band-mean cloud optical property scheme
... al property scheme can overestimate cloud solar heating rate, with a relative error over 30% in general. Also, the error in the flux at the top of the atmosphere can be up to 20 W m 22 at a solar zenith angle of 08. However, the error is considerably reduced by applying the new proposed CKD cloud scheme. The physical explanation of the large error for the band-mean cloud scheme is the absence of a spectral correlation between the gaseous absorption coefficient and the cloud optical properties. The overestimation of the solar heating rate at the cloud-top layer could affect the moisture circulation and limit the growth of cloud. It is found that the error in the longwave cooling rate caused by the band-mean cloud scheme is very small. In the infrared, the local thermal emission strongly affects the spectral distribution of the radiative flux, which makes the correlation between the gaseous absorption coefficient and cloud optical properties very weak. Therefore, there is no obvious advantage in emphasizing the spectral correlation between gas and cloud.