Publication Abstracts

Del Genio et al. 1996

Del Genio, A.D., M.-S. Yao, W. Kovari, and K.K.-W. Lo, 1996: A prognostic cloud water parameterization for global climate models. J. Climate, 9, 270-304, doi:10.1175/1520-0442(1996)009<0270:APCWPF>2.0.CO;2.

An efficient new prognostic cloud water parametrization designed for for use in global climate models is described. The scheme allows for life cycle effects in stratiform clouds and permits cloud optical properties to be determined interactively. The parameterization contains representations of all important microphysical processes, including autoconversion, accretion, Bergeron-Findeisen diffusional growth, and cloud/rain water evaporation. Small-scale dynamical processes, including detrainment of convective condensate, cloud top entrainment instability, and stability-dependent cloud physical thickness variations, are also taken into account. Cloud optical thickness is calculated from the predicted liquid/ice water path and a variable droplet effective radius estimated by assuming constant droplet number concentration. Microphysical and radiative properties are assumed to be different for liquid and ice clouds, and for liquid clouds over land and ocean.

The parameterization is validated in several simulations using the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) general circulation model (GCM). Comparisons are made with a variety of data sets, including ERBE radiative fluxes and cloud forcing, ISCCP and surface-observed cloud properties, SSM/I liquid water path, and SAGE II thin cirrus cover. Validation is judged both on the basis of the model's depiction of the mean state and of diurnal, seasonal and interannual variability and the temperature dependence of cloud properties. Relative to the diagnostic cloud scheme used in the previous GISS GCM, the prognostic parameterization strengthens the model's hydrologic cycle and general circulation, both directly and indirectly (via increased cumulus heating). Sea surface temperature (SST) perturbation experiments produce low climate sensitivity and slightly negative cloud feedback for globally uniform SST changes, but high sensitivity and positive cloud feedback when tropical Pacific SST gradients weaken with warming. Changes in the extent and optical thickness of tropical cumulus anvils appear to be the primary factor determining the sensitivity. This suggests that correct simulations of upward transport of convective condensate and of Walker circulation changes are of the highest priority for a realistic estimate of cloud feedback in actual greenhouse gas increase scenarios.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Del Genio, A. D. and Yao, M.-S. and Kovari, W. and Lo, K. K.-W.},
  title={A prognostic cloud water parameterization for global climate models},
  journal={J. Climate},

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RIS Citation

ID  - de06000k
AU  - Del Genio, A. D.
AU  - Yao, M.-S.
AU  - Kovari, W.
AU  - Lo, K. K.-W.
PY  - 1996
TI  - A prognostic cloud water parameterization for global climate models
JA  - J. Climate
VL  - 9
SP  - 270
EP  - 304
DO  - 10.1175/1520-0442(1996)009%3C0270%3AAPCWPF%3E2.0.CO;2
ER  -

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