Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-148
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2021-148

Submitted as: model evaluation paper 09 Aug 2021

Submitted as: model evaluation paper | 09 Aug 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Evaluation of a Quasi-steady state approximation of the cloud Droplet Growth Equation (QDGE) scheme for aerosol activation in global models using multiple aircraft data over both continental and marine environments

Hengqi Wang1, Yiran Peng1, Knut von Salzen2, Yan Yang3, Wei Zhou3, and Delong Zhao3 Hengqi Wang et al.
  • 1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China
  • 2Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • 3Beijing Weather Modification Office, Beijing, 100101, China

Abstract. This research introduces a numerically efficient aerosol activation scheme and evaluates it by using stratus and stratocumulus cloud data sampled during multiple aircraft campaigns in Canada, Chile, Brazil, and China. The scheme employs a Quasi-steady state approximation of the cloud Droplet Growth Equation (QDGE) to efficiently simulate aerosol activation, the vertical profile of supersaturation, and the activated cloud droplet number concentration (CDNC) near the cloud base. We evaluate the QDGE scheme by specifying observed environmental thermodynamic variables and aerosol information from 31 cloud cases as input and comparing the simulated CDNC with cloud observations. The average of mean relative error of the simulated CDNC for cloud cases in each campaign ranges from 17.30 % in Brazil to 25.90 % in China, indicating that the QDGE scheme successfully reproduces observed variations in CDNC over a wide range of different meteorological conditions and aerosol regimes. Additionally, we carried out an error analysis by calculating the Maximum Information Coefficient (MIC) between the mean relative error (MRE) and input variables for the individual campaigns and all cloud cases. MIC values are then sorted by aerosol properties, pollution level, environmental humidity, and dynamic condition according to their relative importance to MRE . Based on the error analysis we found that the magnitude of MRE is more relevant to the specification of input aerosol pollution level in marine regions and aerosol hygroscopicity in continental regions than to other variables in the simulation.

Hengqi Wang et al.

Status: open (until 04 Oct 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on gmd-2021-148', Steven J Ghan, 09 Sep 2021 reply

Hengqi Wang et al.

Hengqi Wang et al.

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Short summary
The aerosol activation scheme is an important part of the general circulation model, but mostly evaluations using observed data are regional. This research introduced a numerically efficient aerosol activation scheme and evaluated it by using stratus and stratocumulus cloud data sampled during multiple aircraft campaigns in Canada, Chile, Brazil, and China. The decent performance indicates that the scheme is suitable for simulations of cloud droplet number concentrations over wide conditions.