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Volume 18, issue 20 | Copyright

Special issue: Global and regional assessment of intercontinental transport...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 15183-15199, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 22 Oct 2018

Research article | 22 Oct 2018

Evaluating cloud properties in an ensemble of regional online coupled models against satellite observations

Rocío Baró1,a, Pedro Jiménez-Guerrero1, Martin Stengel2, Dominik Brunner3, Gabriele Curci4,5, Renate Forkel6, Lucy Neal7, Laura Palacios-Peña1, Nicholas Savage7, Martijn Schaap8, Paolo Tuccella4,5, Hugo Denier van der Gon8, and Stefano Galmarini9 Rocío Baró et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, Regional Campus of International Excellence Campus Mare Nostrum, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain
  • 2Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) Frankfurter Str. 135, Offenbach, Germany
  • 3Laboratory for Air Pollution and Environmental Technology, Empa, Dübendorf, Switzerland
  • 4Department of Physical and Chemical Sciences, University L'Aquila, L'Aquila (AQ), Italy
  • 5Center of Excellence in Telesening of Environment and Model Prediction of Severe Events (CETEMPS), University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila (AQ), Italy
  • 6Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung, Atmosphärische Umweltforschung (IMK-IFU), Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 7Met Office, FitzRoy Road, Exeter, EX1 3PB, UK
  • 8Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 9European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Directorate for Energy, Transport and Climate, Air and Climate Unit, Ispra (VA), Italy
  • anow at: Section Chemical Weather Forecasts, Division Data/Methods/Modelling, ZAMG – Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik, Vienna, Austria

Abstract. Online coupled meteorology–chemistry models permit the description of the aerosol–radiation (ARI) and aerosol–cloud interactions (ACIs). The aim of this work is to assess the representation of several cloud properties in regional-scale coupled models when simulating the climate–chemistry–cloud–radiation system. The evaluated simulations are performed under the umbrella of the Air Quality Model Evaluation International Initiative (AQMEII) Phase 2 and include ARI+ACI interactions. Model simulations are evaluated against observational data from the European Space Agency (ESA) Cloud_cci project. The results show an underestimation (overestimation) of cloud fraction (CF) over land (sea) areas by the models. Lower bias values are found in the ensemble mean. Cloud optical depth (COD) and cloud ice water path (IWP) are generally underestimated over the whole European domain. The cloud liquid water path (LWP) is broadly overestimated. The temporal correlation suggests a generally positive correlation between models and satellite observations. Finally, CF gives the best spatial variability representation, whereas COD, IWP, and LWP show less capacity. The differences found can be attributed to differences in the microphysics schemes used; for instance, the number of ice hydrometeors and the prognostic/diagnostic treatment of the LWP are relevant.

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Short summary
Particles in the atmosphere, such as pollution, desert dust, and volcanic ash, have an impact on meteorology. They interact with incoming radiation resulting in a cooling effect of the atmosphere. Today, the use of meteorology and chemistry models help us to understand these processes, but there are a lot of uncertainties. The goal of this work is to evaluate how these interactions are represented in the models by comparing them to satellite data to see how close they are to reality.
Particles in the atmosphere, such as pollution, desert dust, and volcanic ash, have an impact on...