Effects of 3D Thermal Radiation on Cloud Development

Carolin Klinger, Bernhard Mayer, Fabian Jakub, Tobias Zinner, Seungbu Park, Pierre Gentine
2016 Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions  
We investigate the effects of thermal radiation on cloud development in an idealized setup in large-eddy simulations with the UCLA-LES model. We investigate single convective clouds (driven by a warm bubble) and a large cumulus cloud field at 50 m horizontal resolution. We compare the newly developed 3D "neighboring column approximation" with the independent column approximation and a simulation without radiation and their respective impact on clouds. Thermal radiation causes strong
more » ... tion causes strong local cooling at cloud tops accompanied by a modest warming at the cloud bottom, and in the case of a 3D scheme, also cloud side cooling. 3D thermal radiation causes systematically larger cooling when averaged over the model domain. In order to investigate the effects of local cooling on the clouds and to separate these local effects from a systematically larger cooling effect in the modeling domain, we apply the radiative transfer solutions in different ways. The direct effect of heating and cooling at the clouds is applied (interactive thermal radiation) in a first simulation. Furthermore, a slab-averaged applications of the 1D and 3D radiation is used to study the effect of local cloud radiation as opposed to the domain averaged effect. These simulations exhibit a cooling profile, with stronger cooling in the cloudy layers. In a final setup, we replace the radiation simulation by a uniform cooling of 2.6&amp;thinsp;K/d. <br><br> For the simulations of isolated single cloud, or the cumulus cloud field with interactive radiation, we find that thermal radiation changes cloud circulation, by causing stronger updrafts and stronger subsiding shells. <br><br> In our cumulus cloud field simulation we find that interactive radiation, acting locally on clouds enhances the circulation compared to the averaged radiation applications. In addition we find that thermal radiation triggers the organization of clouds. Comparing the effects of 3D and 1D thermal radiation, we find that organization effects of 3D thermal radiation are usually stronger than the 1D counterpart (either interactive or averaged). Interactive radiation leads to an earlier onset of the organization both in 1D and 3D compared to the averaged radiation application. Applying a constant cooling to the simulations leads to a similar development of the cloud field as in the case of averaged radiation, but less water condenses overall in the simulation. Generally, clouds contain more liquid water if radiation is accounted for. Furthermore, thermal radiation enhances turbulence and mixing as well as the size and lifetime of clouds. Interactive thermal radiation produces larger clouds with longer lifetimes.
doi:10.5194/acp-2016-896 fatcat:izzw2fxzdjemvbha2xjy376r7a