11.4 Regime dependence of precipitating cloud radiative efficiencies using CloudSat/CALIPSO

Thursday, 18 August 2016: 11:15 AM
Madison Ballroom CD (Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center)
Anita D. Rapp, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX; and L. Sun and T. S. L'Ecuyer

Precipitating cloud systems, from shallow to deep convection, are influenced by the environment, but also feedback on their environment through both surface and atmospheric radiative effects and latent heat (LH) release. The coupling between changes in radiation and precipitation has been demonstrated by a number of studies and suggests an important link between cloud and precipitation processes for defining climate sensitivity. Precipitation and radiative fluxes from CloudSat/CALIPSO retrieval products are used to explore a set of cloud radiative cooling and heating efficiencies that characterize how a precipitating cloud cools the surface or heats the atmosphere, respectively. The surface radiative cooling efficiency, Rc, represents the ratio of the shortwave cloud radiative effect at the surface to LH release from precipitation. The atmospheric heating efficiency, Rh, describes the cloud's ability to heat the atmosphere per unit LH. Precipitating cloud radiative efficiencies are sorted by cloud type according to cloud vertical structure and precipitation characteristics to examine the cloud regime dependence. The dependence of Rc and Rh on the environmental regime is also examined. This analysis will provide insights into the factors that control the radiative impact of different cloud and precipitation regimes on atmospheric and surface energy budgets.
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