Submitted as: model experiment description paper 05 Aug 2020

Submitted as: model experiment description paper | 05 Aug 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Gains and losses in surface solar radiation with dynamic aerosols in regional climate simulations for Europe

Sonia Jerez1, Laura Palacios-Peña1, Claudia Gutiérrez2, Pedro Jiménez-Guerrero1, Jose María López-Romero1, and Juan Pedro Montávez1 Sonia Jerez et al.
  • 1Regional Atmospheric Modeling (MAR) group, Department of Physics, University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain
  • 2Environmental Sciences Institute, University of Castilla-La Mancha, 45071 Toledo, Spain

Abstract. The solar resource can be highly influenced by clouds and atmospheric aerosol, which has been named by the IPCC as the most uncertainty climate forcing agent. Nonetheless, Regional Climate Models (RCMs) hardly ever model dynamically atmospheric aerosol concentration and their interaction with radiation and clouds, in contrast to Global Circulation Models (GCMs). The objective of this work is to evince the role of the interactively modeling of aerosol concentrations and their interactions with radiation and clouds in Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model simulations with a focus on summer mean surface downward solar radiation (RSDS) and over Europe. The results show that the response of RSDS is mainly led by the aerosol effects on cloudiness, which explain well the differences between the experiments in which aerosol-radiation and aerosol-radiation-cloud interactions are taken into account or not. Under present climate, a reduction about 5% in RSDS was found when aerosols are dynamically solved by the RCM, which is larger when only aerosol-radiation interactions are considered. However, for future projections, the inclusion of aerosol-radiation-cloud interactions results in the most negative RSDS change pattern (while with slight values), showing noticeable differences with the projections from either the other RCM experiments or from their driving GCM (which do hold some significant positive signals). Differences in RSDS among experiments are much more softer under clear-sky conditions.

Sonia Jerez et al.

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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Sonia Jerez et al.

Sonia Jerez et al.


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Short summary
This research advances on the role of aerosols when modeling the surface solar radiation at regional scales (over Europe). A set of model experiments with and without including a dynamical modeling of atmospheric aerosols and their direct and indirect effects on radiation were performed. Results showed significant differences in the simulated solar radiation mainly driven by the aerosol impact on cloudiness, calling for caution when interpreting model experiments that do not include aerosols.