Global climate modeling of the Martian water cycle with improved microphysics and radiatively active water ice clouds

T. Navarro, J.-B Madeleine, F. Forget, A. Spiga, E. Millour, F. Montmessin, A. Määttänen
2014 Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets  
Radiative effects of water ice clouds have noteworthy consequences on the Martian atmosphere, its thermal structure and circulation. Accordingly, the inclusion of such effects in the LMD Mars Global Climate Model (GCM) greatly modifies the simulated Martian water cycle. The intent of this paper is to address the impact of radiatively active clouds on atmospheric water vapor and ice in the GCM and improve its representation. We propose a new enhanced modeling of the water cycle, consisting of
more » ... ailed cloud microphysics with dynamic condensation nuclei and a better implementation of perennial surface water ice. This physical modeling is based on tunable parameters. This new version of the GCM is compared to the Thermal Emission Spectrometer observations of the water cycle. Satisfying results are reached for both vapor and cloud opacities. However, simulations yield a lack of water vapor in the tropics after Ls=180 which is persistent in simulations compared to observations, as a consequence of aphelion cloud radiative effects strengthening the Hadley cell. Every year, our GCM simulations indicate that permanent surface water ice on the north polar cap increases at latitudes higher than 80N and decreases at lower latitudes. Supersaturation above the hygropause is predicted in line with SPICAM observations. The model also shows for the first time that the scavenging of dust by water ice clouds alone fails to fully account for observed dust detached layers.
doi:10.1002/2013je004550 fatcat:2tpikh4hfbb77htydczfiolyq4