248 Evaluation of Arctic Clouds and Their Response to External Forcing in Climate Models

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Yuan Wang, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA; and J. Jiang, Y. Ming, H. Su, and Y. Yung

A warming Arctic is undergoing significant environmental changes, mostly evidenced by the reduction in Arctic sea-ice extent (SIE). However, the role of Arctic clouds in determining the sea ice melting remains elusive, as different phases of clouds can induce either positive or negative radiative forcing in different seasons. The possible cloud feedbacks following the opened ocean surface are also debatable due to variations of polar boundary structure. Therefore, Arctic cloud simulation has long been considered as the largest source of uncertainty in the climate sensitivity assessment. Other local or remote atmospheric factors, such as poleward moisture and heat transport as well as atmospheric aerosols seeding liquid and ice clouds, further complicate our understanding of the Arctic cloud change. Our recent efforts focus on the post-CMIP5 and CMIP6 models, which improve atmospheric compositions, cloud macro- and microphysics, convection parameterizations, etc. In this study, we utilize long-term satellite measurements with high-resolution coverage and broad wavelength spectrum to evaluate the mean states and variations of mixed-phase clouds in the Arctic, along with the concurrent moisture and SIE measurements. The model sensitivity experiments to understand external perturbations on the atmosphere-cryosphere coupling in the Arctic will be presented.
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