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The Influence of Entrainment and Mixing Assumption On Aerosol-cloud Interactions In Marine Stratocumulus


This study uses large-eddy simulation with bin microphysics to investigate the in?uence of entrainment and mixing on aerosol–cloud interactions in the context of idealized, nocturnal, nondrizzling marine stratocumulus (Sc). Of particular interest are (i) an evaporation–entrainment effect and a sedimentation–entrainment effect that result from increasing aerosol concentrations and (ii) the nature of mixing between clear and cloudy air, where homogeneous and extreme inhomogeneous mixing represent the bounding mixing types. Simulations are performed at low resolution (Dz 5 20 m; Dx, y 5 40 m) and high resolution (Dz 5 10 m; Dx, y 5 20 m). It is demonstrated that an increase in aerosol from clean conditions (100 cm23) to polluted conditions (1000 cm23) produces both an evaporation–entrainment and a sedimentation–entrainment effect, which couple to cause about a 10% decrease in liquid water path (LWP) when all warm microphysical processes are included. These dynamical effects are insensitive to both the resolutions tested and the mixing assumption. Regardless of resolution, assuming extreme inhomogeneous rather than homogeneous mixing results in a small reduction in cloud-averaged drop number concentration, a small increase in cloud drop effective radius, and ;1% decrease in cloud optical depth. For the case presented, these small changes play a negligible role when compared to the impact of increasing aerosol and the associated entrainment effects. Finally, it is demon- strated that although increasing resolution causes an increase in LWP and number concentration, the relative sensitivity of cloud optical depth to changes in aerosol is unaffected by resolution.

Article / Publication Data
Available Metadata
Accepted On
October 16, 2008
Fiscal Year
Publication Name
Journal of The Atmospheric Sciences
Published On
May 01, 2009
Print Volume
Print Number
Submitted On
July 16, 2008


Not available


Authors who have authored or contributed to this publication.

  • hongli jiang - Not Positioned Gsl
    Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, Colorado State University
    NOAA/Global Systems Laboratory