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Anthropogenic aerosol effects on climate produce one of the largest uncertainties in estimates of radiative forcing of past and future climate change. Much of this uncertainty arises from the multi-scale nature of the interactions between aerosols, clouds and large-scale dynamics, which are difficult to represent in conventional general circulation models (GCMs). In this study, we develop a multi-scale aerosol-climate model that treats aerosols and clouds across different scales, and evaluate the model performance, with a focus on aerosol treatment. This new model is an extension of a multi-scale modeling framework (MMF) model that embeds a cloud-resolving model (CRM) within each grid column of a GCM. In this extension, the effects of clouds on aerosols are treated by using an explicit-cloud parameterized-pollutant (ECPP) approach that links aerosol and chemical processes on the large-scale grid with statistics of cloud properties and processes resolved by the CRM. A two-moment cloud microphysics scheme replaces the simple bulk microphysics scheme in the CRM, and a modal aerosol treatment is included in the GCM.With these extensions, this multi-scale aerosol-climate model allows the explicit simulation of aerosol and chemical processes in both stratiform and convective clouds on a global scale.




Copyright 2011. The Authors

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