Joint Session J1.1 Aerosol effects on the lifetime of shallow cumulus

Tuesday, 11 July 2006: 1:30 PM
Ballroom AD (Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center)
Graham Feingold, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO; and H. Jiang, H. Xue, A. Teller, and Z. Levin

Presentation PDF (74.1 kB)

Aerosol effects on cloud lifetime are important in the context of their potential effect on climate and yet there exist very few observations or modeling studies on the subject. In this paper, we explore the effects of increases in aerosol concentration on cloud lifetime for warm convective clouds using a two-dimensional single cloud model and three-dimensional large eddy simulations (LES). The models include size-resolved treatment of drop size distributions and warm microphysical processes. It is shown using a variety of soundings representing marine trade cumulus, and continental convective clouds that contrary to expectation, an increase in aerosol concentration from very clean to very polluted does not increase cloud lifetime. Cloud lifetimes are statistically similar although individual clouds may experience decreases in lifetime of 10-40%. An evaporation-entrainment feedback that tends to dilute polluted clouds more than clean clouds is identified. It is proposed that the small changes in cloud lifetime are due to competing effects of precipitation suppression and enhanced evaporation, with the latter tending to dominate in these shallow clouds.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner