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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 9, issue 21 | Copyright
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 8493-8501, 2009
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-9-8493-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  09 Nov 2009

09 Nov 2009

Exploiting the weekly cycle as observed over Europe to analyse aerosol indirect effects in two climate models

J. Quaas1, O. Boucher2, A. Jones2, G. P. Weedon2, J. Kieser1, and H. Joos1,* J. Quaas et al.
  • 1Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Bundesstr. 53, 20146 Hamburg, Germany
  • 2Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter EX1 3PB, UK
  • *now at: Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH Zürich, Universitätsstr. 16, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland

Abstract. A weekly cycle in aerosol pollution and some meteorological quantities is observed over Europe. In the present study we exploit this effect to analyse aerosol-cloud-radiation interactions. A weekly cycle is imposed on anthropogenic emissions in two general circulation models that include parameterizations of aerosol processes and cloud microphysics. It is found that the simulated weekly cycles in sulfur dioxide, sulfate, and aerosol optical depth in both models agree reasonably well with those observed indicating model skill in simulating the aerosol cycle. A distinct weekly cycle in cloud droplet number concentration is demonstrated in both observations and models. For other variables, such as cloud liquid water path, cloud cover, top-of-the-atmosphere radiation fluxes, precipitation, and surface temperature, large variability and contradictory results between observations, model simulations, and model control simulations without a weekly cycle in emissions prevent us from reaching any firm conclusions about the potential aerosol impact on meteorology or the realism of the modelled second aerosol indirect effects.

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