Document Type


Publication Date



Sensitivity of Arctic clouds and radiation in the Community Atmospheric Model, version 5, to the ice nucleation process is examined by testing a new physically based ice nucleation scheme that links the variation of ice nuclei (IN) number concentration to aerosol properties. The default scheme parameterizes the IN concentration simply as a function of ice supersaturation. The new scheme leads to a significant reduction in simulated IN concentration at all latitudes while changes in cloud amounts and properties are mainly seen at high- and midlatitude storm tracks. In the Arctic, there is a considerable increase in midlevel clouds and a decrease in low-level clouds, which result from the complex interaction among the cloud macrophysics, microphysics, and large-scale environment. The smaller IN concentrations result in an increase in liquid water path and a decrease in ice water path caused by the slowdown of the Bergeron-Findeisen process in mixedphase clouds. Overall, there is an increase in the optical depth of Arctic clouds, which leads to a stronger cloud radiative forcing (net cooling) at the top of the atmosphere. The comparison with satellite data shows that the new scheme slightly improves low-level cloud simulations over most of the Arctic but produces too many midlevel clouds. Considerable improvements are seen in the simulated low-level clouds and their properties when compared with Arctic ground-based measurements. Issues with the observations and the model- observation comparison in the Arctic region are discussed. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.




© Copyright 2013 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act September 2010 Page 2 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at ( or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or

Included in

Engineering Commons