Investigation of the impacts of Asian pollution on Pacific storm track using multi-scale modeling results

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Monday, 7 January 2013: 2:15 PM
Investigation of the impacts of Asian pollution on Pacific storm track using multi-scale modeling results
Room 5ABC (Austin Convention Center)
Yuan Wang, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; and M. Wang, S. J. Ghan, and R. Zhang

Long-term satellite data and numerical simulations with the cloud-resolving model (CRM) suggest that increasing pollution levels in Asia and associated outflows may impact the Pacific storm track by altering cloud development, lifetime, albedo, and precipitation. In this study, results from a pair of 6-year global atmosphere simulations were analyzed, using the multi-scale aerosol-climate model PNNL-MMF where a CRM is embedded within each grid column of the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM). Two different aerosol conditions are considered in the simulations, representing Present Day (PD) and Pre-Industrial (PI) emissions, respectively. A comparison of those two scenarios shows that over the Northwest Pacific region aerosol optical depth is increased by 50% and cloud droplet number concentration is doubled under the influence of Asian pollution outflow. Meanwhile, cloud liquid water path and ice water path are enhanced by 9% and 8% due to the elevated aerosol loading in the PD case. The larger percentage of convective cloud coverage and the higher cloud top height in the PD case demonstrate that the convection strength of mid-latitude cyclones is invigorated. A 3% increase of precipitation induced by the larger PD aerosol concentration is found over the Northwest Pacific area. Smaller cloud droplets and the larger liquid and ice water path lead to the increase of cloud optical thickness by 10% in the PD case. Cloud shortwave and longwave forcing at the top of atmosphere (TOA) are enlarged by 7% and 6%, respectively. The poleward eddy heat transport along the storm track at 850 hPa is enhanced by 5% in the PD case. In addition, the results from the standard CAM model (no embedded CRM), simulates a similar increase in the aerosol concentration in the PD case but predicts significant suppression of the convection strength and heavy precipitation associated with the cyclones. This indicates that the multi-scale framework approach is critical for reproducing the aerosol invigoration effect on the deep convective cloud systems in the PNNL-MMF.