Evaluation of a quasi-steady-state approximation of the cloud droplet growth equation (QDGE) scheme for aerosol activation in global models using multiple aircraft data over both continental and marine environments

Hengqi Wang, Yiran Peng, Knut von Salzen, Yan Yang, Wei Zhou, Delong Zhao
2022 Geoscientific Model Development  
Abstract. This research introduces a numerically efficient aerosol activation scheme and evaluates it by using stratus and stratocumulus cloud data sampled during multiple aircraft campaigns in Canada, Chile, Brazil, and China. The scheme employs a quasi-steady-state approximation of the cloud droplet growth equation (QDGE) to efficiently simulate aerosol activation, the vertical profile of supersaturation, and the activated cloud droplet number concentration (CDNC) near the cloud base. The
more » ... ulated maximum supersaturation values using the QDGE scheme were compared with multiple parcel model simulations under various aerosol and environmental conditions. The differences are all below 0.18 %, indicating good performance and accuracy of the QDGE scheme. We evaluated the QDGE scheme by specifying observed environmental thermodynamic variables and aerosol information from 31 cloud cases as input and comparing the simulated CDNC with cloud observations. The average of mean relative error (MRE‾) of the simulated CDNC for cloud cases in each campaign ranges from 17.30 % in Brazil to 25.90 % in China, indicating that the QDGE scheme successfully reproduces observed variations in CDNC over a wide range of different meteorological conditions and aerosol regimes. Additionally, we carried out an error analysis by calculating the maximum information coefficient (MIC) between the MRE and input variables for the individual campaigns and all cloud cases. MIC values were then sorted by aerosol properties, pollution level, environmental humidity, and dynamic condition according to their relative importance to MRE. Based on the error analysis, we found that the magnitude of MRE is more relevant to the specification of input aerosol pollution level in marine regions and aerosol hygroscopicity in continental regions than to other variables in the simulation.
doi:10.5194/gmd-15-2949-2022 fatcat:gfcecifolfdnrbownzppdealsi