776 Regional Climate Effects of Aerosols on Precipitation and Snowpack in California

Wednesday, 13 January 2016
Longtao Wu, JPL, Pasadena, CA; and H. Su, J. Jiang, C. Zhao, Y. Qian, and T. H. Painter

Water sources in California are derived predominantly from precipitation (mostly during the winter time) and storage in the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. With California facing one of the most severe droughts on record, it is important to understand the factors influencing precipitation and snowpack for water management and hydropower operation. Recent observational and numerical modeling studies have shown that aerosol pollutants can substantially change precipitation and snowpack in the Sierra Nevada. However, previous studies focused only on one of the aerosol effects or just focus on a single event. A complete view on regional climate effects of aerosol on precipitation and snowpack in California is not delivered yet.

In this study, we use a fully coupled aerosol-meteorology-snowpack model (WRF-Chem-SNICAR) to investigate aerosol impacts on regional climate in California, with a focus on precipitation and snowpack. We will evaluate the performance of the WRF-Chem-SNICAR model on simulating regional climate in California. Sensitivity experiments will be conducted to disentangle the relative roles of each aerosol effect, such as aerosol radiation interaction vs. aerosol cloud interaction and aerosol snowpack interaction, local emission vs. long-range transport etc.

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