AbstractThe effects of aerosol perturbations on deep convective clouds have received considerable attention in the recent literature, especially from a modeling perspective. The published responses in precipitation amount and updraft strength vary in both sign and magnitude and may be the result of different models and parameterizations. Here, a simple numerical framework is employed to determine the potential effects of warming both below the freezing level (warm invigoration) and above the freezing level (mixed-phase invigoration) due to increased aerosol loading. The role of updraft width and slope in the same framework is also examined, highlighting the relative importance of each factor on the resulting updraft strength. The results show that the potential effects of warm invigoration are 2–3 times larger than for mixed-phase invigoration. However, a relatively small response in updraft velocity to warming is found, especially in comparison with the predicted changes in updraft velocity due to small differences in system slope and width, with 87.7% and 96.4% of the subadiabatic and adiabatic realizations, respectively, showing changes in updraft velocity of less than 15% for warmings of no more than 2°C. This result suggests that observations of the aerosol effect will be largely muddled by the natural variability of convective updraft width and slope (which are related to environmental wind shear).
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences – American Meteorological Society
Published: Feb 21, 2018
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