192 Joint Impact of aerosol radiative and microphysical effects on convective cloud, precipitation and thunderstorms

Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Zhanqing Li, University of Maryland, College Park, MD; and X. yang

Aerosol can affect deep convective clouds by altering radiative fluxes, thermodynamic state of the atmosphere and cloud micro- and macro-physics. Apparently, different mechanisms lead to different types of impact that may suppress or foster cloud processes and precipitation. Aerosol reduces the amount of solar radiation reaching ground, reducing sensible and latent heat fluxes. For absorbing aerosol, it warms up the atmosphere. Together, they inhibits convection and convective clouds and precipitation. By serving CCN, it reduces cloud droplet size and suppress drizzle but may enhance heavy precipitation due to the invigoration effect. While it is unclear if aerosol changes total rainfall amount, but it surely change the distribution of precipitation. It is an essential but a challenging task to sort out the various effects. To tackle the problem and unravel various complex relations, data from both long-term routine measurements and intensive field experiments have been analyzed. In this talk, I will summarize major findings drawn from analyses using long-term research and operational data, global satellite data. Opposite effects are found of absorbing aerosol and hygroscopic aerosol on development of convective clouds, precipitation and thunderstorms.
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