Articles | Volume 10, issue 6
Model evaluation paper
20 Jun 2017
Model evaluation paper |  | 20 Jun 2017

Implementation of aerosol–cloud interactions in the regional atmosphere–aerosol model COSMO-MUSCAT(5.0) and evaluation using satellite data

Sudhakar Dipu, Johannes Quaas, Ralf Wolke, Jens Stoll, Andreas Mühlbauer, Odran Sourdeval, Marc Salzmann, Bernd Heinold, and Ina Tegen

Abstract. The regional atmospheric model Consortium for Small-scale Modeling (COSMO) coupled to the Multi-Scale Chemistry Aerosol Transport model (MUSCAT) is extended in this work to represent aerosol–cloud interactions. Previously, only one-way interactions (scavenging of aerosol and in-cloud chemistry) and aerosol–radiation interactions were included in this model. The new version allows for a microphysical aerosol effect on clouds. For this, we use the optional two-moment cloud microphysical scheme in COSMO and the online-computed aerosol information for cloud condensation nuclei concentrations (Cccn), replacing the constant Cccn profile. In the radiation scheme, we have implemented a droplet-size-dependent cloud optical depth, allowing now for aerosol–cloud–radiation interactions. To evaluate the models with satellite data, the Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project Observation Simulator Package (COSP) has been implemented. A case study has been carried out to understand the effects of the modifications, where the modified modeling system is applied over the European domain with a horizontal resolution of 0.25°  ×  0.25°. To reduce the complexity in aerosol–cloud interactions, only warm-phase clouds are considered. We found that the online-coupled aerosol introduces significant changes for some cloud microphysical properties. The cloud effective radius shows an increase of 9.5 %, and the cloud droplet number concentration is reduced by 21.5 %.